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A previous version of this story incorrectly stated Citrix was headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif.



) --

Citrix Systems

(CTXS) - Get Citrix Systems, Inc. Report

topped Wall Street expectations for its fourth-quarter earnings late Wednesday, lifted by strong year-over-year revenue growth of 17%.

But the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based virtualization software developer offered a mixed outlook -- giving an above-consensus view for the whole of fiscal 2011 while projecting a first-quarter adjusted profit that's below the current average analysts' view -- and the quarterly earnings were marginally above its year-ago performance. The shares rose slightly in after-hours trades.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, Citrix posted non-GAAP

generally accepted accounting principles earnings of $125 million, or 65 cents a share, up from a year-ago equivalent profit of $123 million, and a nickel ahead of the average estimate of analysts polled by

Thomson Reuters

for earnings of 60 cents a share.

Revenue reached $530 million in the December period vs. a total of $451 million in last year's quarter. Wall Street's consensus projection was for revenue of $508.9 million in the quarter. Citrix said product license revenue grew 17% year-over-year, revenue from license updates increased 13%, online services revenue rose 16%, and technical services revenue, which includes consulting, training and technical support offerings, jumped 40%.

"Our customers are telling us they want to simplify enterprise computing, they want to embrace IT consumerization, and they are ready to adopt more cloud services - all to transform IT to an on-demand service," said Mark Templeton, the company's president and chief executive officer, in a statement. "These three powerful market forces are driving a need for Citrix virtual infrastructure and making our platform more relevant and strategic."

For fiscal 2011, Citrix forecast non-GAAP earnings of $2.29 to $2.33 a share on revenue ranging from $2.1 billion to $2.14 billion. The current average analysts' view is for a profit of $2.28 a share on revenue of $2.07 billion.

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In the current quarter ending in March, however, the company sees an adjusted profit of 40 to 41 cents a share on revenue of $470 million to $475 million. Wall Street's consensus estimate is for earnings of 48 cents a share on revenue of $471.4 million in the March period, according to

Thomson Reuters


The stock was last quoted at $64.55, up 1.6%, on volume of more than 225,000, according to

. Based on a regular session close at $63.51, the shares are up more than 45% in the past 52 weeks, but they've pulled back 9.4% since the start of 2011, and are down 12% since hitting a 52-week high of $71.93 in late September.

Analysts had a bearish lean ahead of the report with 20 of the 33 analysts covering the stock at either hold (19) or underperform (1). The median 12-month price target of $69.50 implies upside of more than 10% from Wednesday's close however.

Citrix's products include the XenDesktop application, and online software services like GoToMeeting and GoToMyPC, which provide remote access to sales demonstrations and individual computers respectively.


Written by Michael Baron in New York.

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Michael Baron


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