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CA posts profit, offers government $10 million

In disclosing first-quarter earnings that met predictions, Computer Associates tells shareholders it has offered a $10 million payment to settle two government inquiries.

Software maker Computer Associates International on Tuesday posted a quarterly profit and also told investors it has offered to pay $10 million to settle allegations the company has violated securities law.

The firm said it earned $89 million, or 15 cents per share, on revenue of $850 million for its fiscal fourth quarter, which ended March 31. That compares to a loss of 105 million, or 18 cents per share, on revenue of $775, for the same quarter a year ago. Included in the most recent quarter's results were earnings of 10 cents per share from operations the company has discontinued.

As part of the quarter's results, the company said it took a $10 million charge related to two federal probes of the company.

"This charge is based on an initial offer the company made to the government in connection with recent settlement discussions associated with the previously disclosed Department of Justice and SEC investigation," the company said, but noted that it can't predict "the timing or outcome of the government investigation or the amount of any fine or penalty, which may be significant, that may be imposed."

Excluding certain items, Computer Associates said it earned 18 cents per share, in line with a May 6 statement that the company would report earnings of 17 cents or 18 cents per share, excluding items.

In a statement, interim CEO Kenneth Cron said the company is making progress in its software business. "Despite a number of distractions during the quarter, our employees have remained focused on providing the broadest and most innovative software suite in the industry to meet customers' demand for infrastructure, security and storage management capabilities," Cron said in the statement.

Cron laid out his vision for the company at a key customer event last week.

The company said it expects earnings around 5 cents to 7 cents per share, on revenue of between $865 million and $885 million, for the current quarter, ending June 30. For the full fiscal year, Computer Associates forecast earnings from 28 cents to 33 cents per share, with revenue between $3.5 billion and $3.7 billion.

The company noted that its balance of cash and marketable securities ended the quarter at about $1.9 billion, up $550 million from the December quarter.