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CA 4Q Profit Up 12% On Improved Software Fees Revenue

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES CA Inc.'s (CA) fiscal fourth-quarter earnings rose 12% as the business-software maker posted stronger revenue in all major segments, led by software fees. For the new fiscal year, the company forecast adjusted earnings of $2.45 to $2.53 a share, excluding currency impacts, and revenue of $4.85 billion to $4.95 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently projected $2.49 a share in earnings and $5.01 billion in revenue. The maker of software for mainframe and other corporate computers is benefiting from a sharpened focus on helping customers manage upgrades in information technology. It's betting it can continue its growth path through acquisitions and internal development while devoting more of its cash to investors. The company has bolstered its offerings through a recent streak of acquisitions, including its June deal to buy privately held software maker Interactive TKO Inc. for $330 million. CA in January raised its annual dividend to $1 from 20 cents and boosted its buyback program to $1.5 billion. For the quarter ended March 31, CA posted a profit of $211 million, or 45 cents a share, up from $188 million, or 37 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding amortization expense, stock-based compensation and other items, earnings rose to 56 cents a share from 48 cents. Revenue increased 5.3% to $1.19 billion. Analysts expected a per-share profit of 52 cents on revenue of $1.19 billion. Operating margin narrowed to 25.3% from 26.5%. Bookings fell 18%, or 17% on a constant currency basis. Subscription and maintenance revenue -- which accounts for the lion's share of the top line -- rose 1.7%, while professional services revenue increased 13% and software fees and other revenue jumped 43%. Shares closed Thursday at $26.41 and were down 10 cents after hours. The stock, which surged in January after the company unveiled its shareholder-friendly initiatives, is up 31% so far in 2012. -By Ben Fox Rubin, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3108;

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