SAN FRANCISCO - Parametric Technology ( PMTC) reported Tuesday a jump in fourth-quarter profit and projected earnings guidance roughly in line with the Street's outlook.Profit jumped 20% at the Needham, Mass. company to $36.6 million, or 31 cents a share, from $30.6 million, or 26 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding special items, EPS was 45 cents. Analysts were looking for earnings of 40 cents, less items. Revenue at the business software developer rose 12.6% to $300.2 million, from $266.7 million in the same quarter of 2007. Analysts were expecting a top line of $294.8 million, according to Thomson Reuters. Operating margin for the quarter, excluding charges, was 24.9%, an 80-basis-point improvement year over year. The company took a $4.7 million restructuring charge related to moving some administrative functions to lower-cost regions. Deferred revenue rose 14% year over year to $258.3 million, from $227.2 million a year ago. Shares were down 6 cents, or 0.5%, to $12.93 in extended trading, after ending the regular session up 9.5% on a broad market rally. For the first quarter, Parametric projected a top line of $250 million to $260 million and EPS, excluding charges, of 23 cents to 29 cents. Analysts were anticipating revenue of $265.4 million and EPS, less items, of 28 cents. For the full year, the company is targeting a top line of $1.1 billion and EPS of $1.35 to $1.40, less items. Analysts were looking for revenue of $1.14 billion and earnings, excluding charges, of $1.37 a share.
"Given the potential impact of a slowing economy in 2009 and currency fluctuations, we believe that our outlook and initiatives reflect a warranted balance of caution about next year and optimism about the longer-term health and growth potential of the business," CEO Richard Harrison said in a statement. Parametric's primary competitor in the design software industry is Dassault Systemes. Within the broader design-and-engineering software market, Autodesk ( ADSK) is due to report results in November.