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Citrix (CTXS) Slides on Soft Guidance, Beats on Earnings

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Cloud and networking specialist Citrix Systems (CTXS - Get Report) reported weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday, sending share sliding in after-hours trading. After sinking 1.9% over the session, shares tumbled a further 4.5% after the bell to $55.01.

For its year-ending quarter, the company recorded net income of $1.04 a share and $802 million in revenue, a 16% and 8.4% year-over-year jump, respectively. Earnings beat expectations by 6 cents a share, while revenue came in as expected, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

By segment, software-as-a-service revenue increased 13%, license updates and maintenance income jumped 11%, and professional services sales (including consulting, training and certification) soared 28%.

Over fiscal 2013, sales totaled $2.92 billion, 13% higher than a year earlier, while net income was $3.02 a share. Analysts expected 2013 EPS of $2.96 on $2.92 billion in revenue.

For the current quarter ending March 31, revenue is expected to range from $726.7 million to $740.2 million, falling short a forecast $746.41 million. Per-share earnings are anticipated between 57 cents to 60 cents, nine cents short of consensus.

For 2014, management said net revenue should increase between 8% and 10%, compared to analyst estimates of 11.4% growth. Excluding one-time charges, earnings are expected to range from $2.85 to $2.95 a share, far below the $3.35 previously expected by analysts.

The Fort Lauderdale-based business also announced Mark Templeton will be returning from a leave of absence and resuming his post as CEO for at least a year until a successor is. Interim CEO David Henshall will act as chief operating officer, retaining some of the responsibilities he assumed during his temporary gig as chief executive.

TheStreet Ratings team rates CITRIX SYSTEMS INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C+. The team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate CITRIX SYSTEMS INC (CTXS) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed -- some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, disappointing return on equity and deteriorating net income."

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