Compuware Stock Whacked Despite Performance

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Compuware headquarters in downtown Detroit

Compuware headquarters in downtown Detroit

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Wall Street again slapped down shares of Michigan’s largest tech company, Detroit-based Compuware Corp. (Nasdaq: CPWR) despite a financial report that slightly exceeded Wall Street expectations — which, admittedly, had been reduced a few weeks earlier.

Compuware announced April 13 that two large software deals had been pushed past the end of the company’s fiscal year, March 31, resulting in a $60 million reduction in planned revenue and a 4 to 5 cent a share cut in predicted net income. At that point, Compuware stock tumbled 5.5 percent to as low as $10.50 a share.

After that announcement, Compuware was expected to project earnings of 14 cents a share for the quarter, down 13 percent from the fiscal fourth quarter of last year, according to a Thomson Reuters survey of analysts. However, sales were expected to rise 9 percent to $250 million.

In an announcement that came just after the market’s 4 p.m. closing bell Tuesday, Compuware actually exceeded that net income projection, posting fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $34.8 million, or 16 cents a share, compared with $37.4 million, or 16 cents a share, in the same period last year.

Revenue fell just slightly short of the target at $249.6 million, but that was up from $230 million a year ago.

Despite all this, Compuware stock got whacked again in after-hours trading, falling 48 cents or 4.6 percent to $9.91 a share. In regular trading earlier in the day, Compuware fell just 5 cents or 0.5 percent to $10.39 a share.

For the fiscal year, Compuware posted revenue of $928.9 million, up from $892.2 million a year earlier. Net income was $107.4 million or 48 cents a share, down from $140.8 million or 60 cents a share a year earlier. The prior fiscal year’s net income benefited from a one-time gain of $52.4 million from the divestiture of some product lines and a one-time gain of $20.7 million related to a legal settlement.

For the year, software license fees were $194.7 million, virtually unchanged from $194.5 million a year earlier. Software maintenance and subscription fees were $487 million, up from $456.3 million a year earlier. Professional services fees were $247.2 million, up from $241.3 million in the previous year. For the quarter, software license fees were $55.7 million, up from $51.8 million a year earlier. Maintenance and subscription fees were $124.0 million in the fourth quarter, up from $117.9 million in the fourth quarter last year. Revenue from professional services in the fourth quarter was $69.9 million, up from $60.3 million in the same quarter last year.

“Compuware and its growth drivers produced a strong fiscal year 2011,” said Compuware president and COO Bob Paul. “Our unique abilities to solve key business problems in the application performance management and secure collaboration markets in particular have driven phenomenal growth, which we expect to continue. Combined with our laser focus on profitability in Mainframe Solutions, Professional Services and Uniface, we have positioned Compuware to deliver increases in revenues, earnings per share and operating cash flow for fiscal 2012.”

The company had $180.2 million cash on hand as of March 31, up from $150 million a year earlier.

Paul predicted revenue of $1.02 billion and earnings per share of 53 to 57 cents for the fiscal year that got under way April 1. A highlight: a predicted 35 percent increase in revenue for its rapidly growing application performance management business. Paul also said Compuware’s Covisint secure collaboration platform saw its revenue rise 36 percent for the year to $55 million. Paul said that growth rate is expected to accelerate, and that a potential carveout stock offering could take place in the current fiscal year if Covisint’s overall valuation hits $1 billion.

For the quarter, Compuware saw 40 percent growth in its software license fees for distributed computing, to $32 million, and a 19 percent decline in mainframe software license fees, to $23 million.

Subscriptions to its Gomez application performance management subscription products jumped 71 percent to $18.9 million.

The company’s total employee count was 4,396 as of March 31, up 1.4 percent from 4,336 a year earlier.

Compuware also said it expected its fiscal 2012 effective income tax rate would fall to 34 percent from 36 percent in 2011 due to changes in Michigan’s business tax law.

Compuware also plans a ribbon cutting ceremony and lunch reception Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. for a new office in downtown Lansing, at 110 W. Michigan Ave., Suite 650.

To listen to a replay of a conference call discussing the results, visit the investor relations section of www.compuware.com or call (800) 475-6701 in the United States or (320) 365-3844 elsewhere.

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