CA comeback continues

26 May 2004

Management software vendor Computer Associates (CA) has continued its return to financial stability. Its results for the year ending 31 March 2004 show revenue rising 8pc to US$3.28bn on 2003 and cash of US$1.28bn being generated.

The company posted revenues of US$850m in the fourth quarter, a 10pc increase on the same quarter 2003.

Income from continuing operations on a GAAP basis for the fourth quarter was US$29m, or US$0.05 per diluted share, compared to a loss of US$106m (US$0.18) reported in the similar period last year. For the full year, loss from continuing operations on a GAAP basis was US$36m (US$0.06 per diluted share) compared to a loss of US$270m (US$0.47) in fiscal year 2003.

“It is apparent from our results that CA is continuing to advance its leadership position in the rapidly expanding management software market,” said Kenneth Cron, CA’s interim chief executive officer.

Alluding to the ongoing Department of Justice and SEC investigation into the company’s accounting methods, Cron added: “Despite a number of distractions during the quarter, our employees have remained focused on providing the broadest and most innovative software suite in the industry to meet customers’ demand for infrastructure, security and storage management capabilities.”

The company recorded a US$10m charge in the fiscal fourth quarter associated with the government investigation. The company also reported a particularly strong pipeline of licence revenue thanks to a healthy number of contract signings during the quarter. Deferred subscription revenue or ‘contract bookings’ rose 33pc to US$836m.

“As contract bookings represent what we expect to collect from our customers over the life of the applicable software licences, it is an important indicator of the fundamental strength of our business. Assisted by the strong contract bookings reflected in the fourth quarter, we closed fiscal 2004 with a deferred subscription revenue balance of approximately US$4.3bn,” said Jeff Clarke, CA’s chief operating officer and chief financial officer.

In geographical terms, the European market performed strongly for CA and within that the Irish market outperformed its sister companies in Europe. While unable to disclose exact revenue figures, Matt Brennan, head of CA Ireland, said that turnover increased 20-25pc during 2004.

He added that he was optimistic about the coming year, where the priority would be increasing the penetration of CA’s security and storage products within the SME sector. This would be done through an increased focus on the channel, he said.

CA said it expected first quarter 2005 revenue to come in between US$865 to US$885m and full year revenue to be in the US$3.5-US$3.7bn range.

By Brian Skelly