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Earnings Roundup: Altera rolls past estimates

    Altera continued its impressive run Wednesday, posting a first-quarter profit of $75.2 million, or 36 cents a share, on sales of $272.8 million.

    First Call consensus expected the programmable logic device maker to earn 34 cents a share in the quarter.

    Altera (Nasdaq: ALTR) shares closed off 4 5/16 to 82 ahead of the earnings report.

    The $272.8 million in sales represents a 46 percent jump from the year-ago quarter when it earned $47 million, or 23 cents a share, on sales of $186.4 million.

    First quarter sales growth of 15 percent was achieved through gains of 17 percent in North America, 30 percent in Europe, and 12 percent in the Asia/Pacific region. Sales to Japan fell 6 percent.

    Altera shares hit a 52-week high of 99 1/4 in March after falling to a low of 30 last April.

    Twenty-four of the 28 analysts tracking the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.

    First Call consensus expects Altera to earn $1.56 a share in the fiscal year.

    Among other technology companies reporting earnings Wednesday:

  • Intraware Inc. (Nasdaq: ITRA)

    Intraware posted a smaller-than-expected loss in its fourth quarter Wednesday, losing $11.2 million, or 45 cents a share, on sales of $36.1 million.

    First Call consensus expected it to lose 47 cents a share in the quarter.

    Its shares closed off 5 1/4, or 19 percent, to 22 1/2 ahead of the earnings report.

    The $36.1 million in sales marks a 160 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it lost $4.6 million, or 69 cents a share, on sales of $13.9 million.

    "Our recent financial results provide us with a strong foundation to continue building our company," said CEO Don Freed in a prepared release.

  • Accrue Software Inc. (Nasdaq: ACRU)

    Accrue scampered past analysts' estimates in its fourth quarter, earning $788,000, or 3 cents a share, on sales of $7.5 million.

    First Call consensus expected Accrue to break even this quarter.

    Its shares closed off 1 3/8 to 31 1/2 ahead of the earnings report.

    For the year, it lost $1.7 million, or 12 cents a share, on sales of $18.9 million.

  • SmartForce (Nasdaq: SMTF) reported a first quarter loss of $10 million, or 20 cents per share, excluding goodwill amortization. The provider of online and software-based training applications lost $11.7 million, or 23 cents per share, including all expenses.

    First Call's survey of a dozen analysts predicted a loss of 23 cents per share.

    Revenue in the first quarter of $28.5 million was down from $40.2 million in the year-ago period, when the company was still known as CBT Systems. SmartForce now relies on a subscription model which requires revenue to be recognized over the life of a contract.

    Fully committed contract backlog rose to $222 million at the end of March, up from $190 million in December and ahead of the company's own target. SmartForce now has more than 300,000 subscribers, a 200 percent gain from the fourth quarter.

  • Latitude Communications (Nasdaq: LATD) met analyst estimates in the first quarter.

    The provider of conferencing systems reported first quarter net income of $971,000, or 5 cents per share, in line with the First Call consensus forecast. That figure excludes amortization of deferred stock compensation.

    Including all charges, Latitude made $844,000, or 4 cents per share.

    First quarter revenue rose 61 percent year-over-year to $10.4 million. Product revenue was $7.4 million, up 60 percent from a year earlier. >