Citrix Systems slips despite strong 1Q results

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Citrix Systems shares fell 9 9/16, or 15 percent, to 55 11/16 Thursday despite topping analysts' estimates in its first quarter.

In the quarter, Citrix (Nasdaq: CTXS) pocketed $43.9 million, or 21 cents a share, on sales of $127.5 million.

First Call consensus expected software developer to earn 19 cents a share in the quarter.

Peter Ausnit, an analyst at Prudential Securities, said Thursday's sell-off was a classic case of investors selling on the news.

"They said they were going to invest more in their business so as much as we'd hoped to raise their numbers, the guidance just wasn't there," Ausnit said. "We like the stock in the long-term but it will come under some pressure in the near-term."

Including the amortization of intangible assets relating to business combinations, Citrix earned $38.5 million, or 19 cents a share, in the quarter.

"We believe that the key to achieving our growth goals is to couple strong financial performance with strategic investments for the future as we did in the first quarter," said CEO Mark Templeton in a prepared release. "We intend to continue creating new opportunities by `webifying' our offerings and building channel and customer support for the new products and services we launched in the first quarter."

The $127.5 million in sales marks a 50 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it earned $28.2 million, or 15 cents a share, on sales of $85 million.

Last quarter, it made $37.7 million, or 38 cents a share, on sales of $118.1 million.

Its shares hit a 52-week high of 122 5/16 in March after splitting 2-for-1 in February. Last April, its shares were trading at 14 3/4.

Ten of the 11 analysts following Citrix rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy."

First Call consensus expects it to return a profit of 85 cents a share in the fiscal year.