CA tops analysts estimate, but posts loss

Computer Associates International Inc. (CA) once again posted hard-to-interpret results for its latest fiscal quarter, showing a US$342 million net loss under standard accounting principles, but a $323 million net operating income under its own pro-forma calculations. CA reported Monday for its first fiscal quarter of 2002, ended June 30.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call forecast pro-forma earnings per share of $0.48. By that measure, CA's $0.55 pro-forma earnings per share easily topped expectations.

But CA's pro-forma accounting involves excluding amortization effects from acquisitions and special one-time charges, and including previously booked revenue from product sales in prior fiscal years. Under generally accepted accounting principles, CA lost $0.59 per share; excluding amortization and special items, it lost $0.24 per share.

Some of CA's pro forma reporting stems from a new business model it adopted late last year. Previously, the software vendor booked all revenue from a license agreement once the agreement was signed; now, it accounts for contracted revenue over the life of the license.

Maintenance fees contributed heavily to CA's bottom line, generating $258 million during the quarter. The company picked up $140 million from subscription fees and $106 million from software and other fees. Professional services generated $81 million during the quarter.

CA closed new contracts during the quarter adding residual value (revenue to be booked later) of $502 million, Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Kumar said in a statement. CA now carries $2.2 billion in deferred revenue.

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