Computer Associates Narrows Loss

Computer Associates ( CA) narrowed its net loss in its fourth quarter on slight revenue growth, the software company reported on Wednesday.

In its quarter ended March 31, Islandia, N.Y.-based Computer Associates lost $106 million, or 18 cents a share. That was down from the year-ago period, when the company lost $238 million, or 41 cents a share.

The company's first-quarter revenue increased 3.8% to $801 million, slightly beating Wall Street estimates of $795 million, as gathered by Thomson First Call.

Excluding charges such as amortization, goodwill and impairment expenses, Computer Associates would have earned 8 cents a share. On this basis, Wall Street analysts were expecting the software maker to earn 6 cents a share.

For its full fiscal year, Computer Associates lost $267 million, or 46 cents a share, on $3.12 billion in revenue. In fiscal 2002, the company lost $1.1 billion, or $1.91 a share, on $2.96 billion in sales.

In fiscal 2004, Computer Associates expects to continue to slice its losses. The company projects it will lose between 5 cents and 10 cents a share on revenue of $3.28 billion to $3.43 billion. The company expects to post operating profits, excluding charges, of between 41 cents and 46 cents for the year.

For its first quarter, Computer Associates projects it will lose between 3 cents and 4 cents a share on sales ranging from $795 million to $810 million. Excluding charges, the company expects to post operating earnings of 9 cents to 10 cents a share.

In its just-completed quarter, Computer Associates recorded a sizable increase in subscription revenue that more than made up for declining revenue from maintenance and professional services and software and financing fees.

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