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Citrix Posts 15% Rise In 4Q Net, Issues Downbeat 2012 Earnings View

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Citrix Systems Inc.'s (CTXS) fourth-quarter profit rose 15% as the virtualization-and-infrastructure company posted revenue gains across its segments. However, shares slipped 1.3% to $66.73 in after-hours trading as the company issued a downbeat full-year and first-quarter earnings forecast. For 2012, Citrix sees per-share adjusted earnings of $2.70 to $2.74, below Wall Street's view of $2.79. It also raised its revenue guidance for the year, now seeing revenue of $2.49 billion to $2.51 billion, from its October view of $2.47 billion to $2.48 billion. For the current quarter, Citrix forecast adjusted earnings of 49 cents to 51 cents a share on revenue of $555 million to $565 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters most recently predicted 56 cents and $561 million, respectively. Citrix, which improves efficiency by allowing multiple systems to operate on one computer, has reported stronger results over the past year on broad-based revenue gains and improved margins. Its desktop-solutions business, which includes XenApp and XenDesktop, has had its growth accelerate recently due to the increasing importance of desktop virtualization. Competitor VMware Inc. (VMW) on Monday reported its fourth-quarter earnings rose 67% as the software maker posted double-digit-percentage increases in services and licenses revenue, as well as stronger margins. Citrix reported a profit of $108.7 million, or 58 cents a share, up from $94.4 million, or 49 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding stock-based compensation and other items, earnings rose to 78 cents a share from 65 cents a share. Revenue rose 17% to $619.4 million. In October, the company forecast adjusted earnings of 75 cents to 76 cents a share on revenue of $610 million to $620 million, above analysts' estimates at the time. Operating margin widened to 21.9% from 21.4%. Revenue from product licenses, or new product purchases, jumped 17%, while revenue from license updates, including annuity revenue from subscriptions paid when new licenses are purchased, climbed 9.3%. Software-as-a-service revenue was up 21% while technical-services revenue rose 34%. -By Nathalie Tadena, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3287; nathalie.tadena@dowjones.com

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