SAN FRANCISCO -- CA ( CA) topped second-quarter earnings estimates Wednesday and authorized new stock buybacks.Revenue at the business software developer rose 3.7% to $1.11 billion, from $1.07 billion in the same quarter of last year. Analysts were expecting a top line of $1.12 billion, according to Thomson Reuters. Profit at the Islandia, N.Y. company grew 53% to $209 million, or 39 cents a share, from $137 million, or 26 cents a share, in the same period last year. Excluding special charges, EPS was 41 cents. Analysts were looking for earnings of 37 cents a share. The stock was up 74 cents, or 4.7%, to $16.65 in extended trading. For fiscal 2009, which ends in March, the company raised earnings guidance to a range of $1.48 to $1.55 a share, excluding special items, from prior guidance for $1.45 to $1.52. The revision implies earnings of 68 cents to 75 cents a share for the second half of the fiscal year. Analysts were expecting 71 cents. CA said fiscal 2009 revenue would grow at 2% year over year in constant currency, the low end of its prior guidance for 3% at the midpoint. CA estimated full-year revenue would be $4.3 billion, reflecting the recent strengthening of the U.S. dollar. Analysts were anticipating a top line of $4.5 billion. The renewal of several large contracts boosted the company's bookings by 44% year over year, CEO John Swainson said on the conference call. Bookings growth for the year is now expected to be 10% to 15%, from a prior outlook for single-digit bookings growth.
During the quarter, the company sold a performance system to Intuit ( INTU), maker of TurboTax software, to monitor the performance of its systems during the next tax-filing season, when thousands of customers use Intuit's online system to file their taxes. The company's bookings also benefited from strong sales of software for IBM's ( IBM) new System z mainframes, Swainson said. On Wednesday, the board authorized the repurchase of $250 million in shares, Swainson said. Operating margin improved to about 30%, a 7-point increase over the prior year, Swainson said. Competitor BMC Software ( BMC) is due to report results late Thursday.