No Worries About CA Earnings Announcement Delay

BOSTON (05/09/2000) - Computer Associates International Inc.'s announcement yesterday that is was delaying the release of its financial results until May 18 may concern investors, but at least one analyst says that for CA users "this is pretty much a nonevent."

Investors cast a wary eye yesterday when the Islandia, New York-based software maker said it wouldn't announce its earnings until May 18, a week after analysts expected the results. Shares of CA stock fell $6.25 to $46.81 yesterday. The stock was at $46.75 in mid-morning trading today.

"It is a big deal (on Wall Street) because in this market, any potential bad news enhances the perception for risk," said Damian V. Rinaldi, an analyst at First Albany Corp. in Albany, New York. "But my sense is that, more likely than not, this will prove to be a great buying opportunity."

Analyst Brian Eisenbarth at Collins & Co. in Lakespur, California, also said yesterday's sudden drop has more to do with perception than reality.

"The market tends to sell first," Eisenbarth said.

The company issued a statement that appeared to deny that it even delayed releasing its earnings results.

"Some analysts had expected an earlier release date," said spokesman Michael Kornspan. "This year's reporting date is consistent with the company's practice of prior years . . . Last year's complete financial results were released on May 27."

However, analysts said that they were under the impression that the company had publicly said it would announce on May 11. When asked for further information, Kornspan said the company had nothing else to say.

Both Eisenbarth and Rinaldi said that unless the delay is serious, chances are that nothing will come of it. Both said the company appears strong and seems to be doing well. Rinaldi said the news shouldn't cause any customers to question the long-term health of Computer Associates.

"For your readers who are customers, it strikes me that this is a nonevent," Rinaldi said.

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