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Earnings Roundup: Macrovision shines; Compuware staggers

Compuware (Nasdaq: CPWR) managed to top analysts' reduced estimates in its fourth quarter Monday, earning $57.5 million, or 15 cents a share, on sales of $582.1 million.

First Call Corp. consensus predicted the corporate software developer would earn 14 cents a share.

Its shares closed off 3/16 to 12 7/8 ahead of the earnings report.

Last month, Compuware officials braced investors for lackluster results in the quarter, mainly due to weak performance by its core computer systems support operation.

Analysts originally pegged it for a profit of 35 cents a share in the quarter.

The $582.1 million in sales marks a 16 percent jump from the year-ago quarter when it earned $125.2 million, or 31 cents a share, on sales of $500.1 million.

For the year, Compuware earned $392.2 million, or $1.02 a share, on sales of $2.23 billion, up 36 percent from fiscal 1999 when it made $357.3 million, or 89 cents a share, on sales of $1.6 billion.

Including one-time charges, Compuware earned $46.5 million, or 12 cents a share, in the quarter.

"Despite a tough fourth quarter, we delivered solid results for fiscal year 2000," said spokeswoman Beth Chappell in a prepared release. "Our software business remains healthy and will continue to grow. We will maintain our competitive edge in the OS/390 market as we strive to significantly increase sales of our distributed software products."

In the quarter, the company's software license fees fell 15.6 percent from the year-ago quarter, falling to $196.1 million from $232.4 million.

Maintenance fees increased 28.2 percent to $118.2 million from $92.2 million during the same period last year. Revenue from professional services grew 52.5 percent during the quarter to $267.7 million from $175.6 million in the fourth quarter of the previous fiscal year.

Not surprisingly, Compuware shares went into a tailspin following the profit warning, falling to a low of 10 7/16 in April after hitting a 52-week high of 40 in December.

Nine of the 16 analysts following the stock maintain a "hold" recommendation.

Among other technology companies reporting earning Monday:

  • Macrovision Corp. (Nasdaq: MVSN) easily topped Street estimates in its first quarter, earning $4.8 million, or 12 cents a share, on sales of $12.7 million.

    Analysts were expecting it to return a profit of 8 cents a share in the quarter.

    Its shares closed up 7 1/8 to 56 ahead of the earnings report.

    The $12.7 million in sales marks a 78 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it made $1.9 million, or 89 cents a share, on sales of $7.2 million.

    "We're very pleased with our first quarter results," said CFO Ian Halifax in a prepared release. "Our revenues benefited from continued strong demand for both our DVD and consumer multimedia software copy protection products."

  • Pegasus Solutions Inc. (Nasdaq: PEGS) also beat the Street in its first quarter, raking in $3 million, or 14 cents a share, on sales of $10.7 million.

    First Call Corp. consensus expected the e-commerce services provider to earn 12 cents a share in the quarter.

    Ahead of the earnings report, Pegasus shares closed up 3/8 to 18 1/8.

    The $10.7 million in sales marks a 27 percent jump from the same period last year when it earned $1.5 million, or 9 cents a share, on sales of $8.4 million.

  • Mentor Graphics topped Street estimates in its first quarter Monday, earning $10.4 million, or 16 cents a share, on sales of $128.1 million.

    First Call Corp. consensus expected it to earn 9 cents a share in the quarter.

    Ahead of the earnings report, Mentor (Nasdaq: MENT) shares moved up 2, or 15 percent, to 15 1/8.

    In the year-ago quarter, it lost $8.3 million, or 13 cents a share, on sales of $122.6 million.

    Company officials said that it ended the first quarter with a record backlog of orders as bookings rose 15 percent from a year ago. The company said also in January that bookings in the fourth quarter had hit record levels.