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Computer Associates Warns of First-Quarter Earnings Shortfall

The software maker blames softness in its European sales and delays in several contracts.
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Computer Associates (CA) - Get CA, Inc. Report late Monday warned that its first-quarter revenue would fall short of internal expectations, leading the business software maker to miss Wall Street profit estimates.

In a press release put out at 11:54 p.m. EDT Monday, the Islandia, N.Y., company said it expects contract revenue for the quarter ended June 30 to be $1.25 billion to $1.3 billion, topping the year-ago $1.22 billion but insufficient to meet estimates. The current 20-analyst

First Call/Thomson Financial

estimate calls for first-quarter earnings of 55 cents a share vs. the year-earlier 49 cents.

Computer Associates blamed weak European sales and softness in its mainframe business for the shortfall. The company said several large contracts that were expected to close in the final days of the quarter have been delayed.

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"Revenue wasn't as strong in the quarter as we had hoped," President and COO Sanjay Kumar said in the release. "We intend to work aggressively to address the performance issues in our European business." Kumar said the company's recently completed

Sterling Software

acquisition and a "refocused sales and service organization" leave it well positioned to capitalize on future opportunities.

Computer Associates scheduled an analyst conference call for 8:30 a.m. EDT Wednesday. Its first-quarter results are due out July 20.

The company's shares ended Monday's shortened trading session down 1/16 to 51 1/8. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of 42 5/16 to 79 7/16.