Computer Associates ( CA) reaffirmed fourth-quarter pro forma guidance but said a tax charge will hit the bottom line. The Long Island-based company said fourth-quarter numbers will be hit by a 6-cent-a-share charge stemming from its decision to repatriate $500 million in foreign profits under the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004. The tax charge will amount to $35 million, and the act allows the company to use the money "for research and development, and acquisitions," a spokeswoman says, declining to comment further. The management software outfit now expects to earn a penny or two a share on a generally accepted accounting principles basis, down from earlier guidance of 7 to 8 cents a share. C-A said its previous estimates of pro forma earnings, excluding certain costs, and revenue remain unchanged. C-A expects to make 19 to 20 cents a share on revenue of around $910 million. Those figures are in line with the Thomson First Call analyst consensus estimate. C-A is due to post fourth-quarter numbers May 26. The company's announcement comes after a week in which a number of software players warned of earnings shortfalls, though most observers so far are
shrugging off any talk of a sectorwide slowdown. In recent trading, C-A shares were up 5 cents to $27.28.