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Quest Software's Profit Falls Sharply

The business software company reports a decline in net income despite higher revenue.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Quest Software's (QSFT) earnings fell sharply in the fourth quarter despite top-line growth a strong outlook for 2008, the company reported Tuesday.

The Aliso Viejo, Calif. business software company took in $186.7 million, up 11.6% from revenue of $167.3 million in the same period of the prior year. Analysts were expecting $178.3 million, according to Thomson Financial.

Net income fell 27.6% to $24.1 million, from $33.3 million a year ago. EPS was 23 cents, vs. 32 cents in the year-ago period.

The stock was up 15 cents, or 1%, to $15.04 in after-hours trading.

Excluding items, EPS was 26 cents, down from 38 cents a year ago. Analysts were looking for 28 cents.

For 2008, the company expects revenue to range between $705 million and $720 million.Analysts were expecting a top line of $684.8 million.

During the fourth quarter, Quest's sales and marketing expenses jumped 20%, while it spent $39.3 million on acquisitions. The company completed the purchase of Vizioncore and is also acquiring PassGo Technologies.