Progress Software posts higher 4Q profit

AP News
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Posted: Dec 22, 2009 2:31 PM

Progress Software Corp. said Tuesday its fiscal fourth-quarter profit increased sharply as lower expenses made up for a slight decline in revenue.

For the three months ended Nov. 30, the Bedford, Mass.-based business-software maker posted a profit of $16.7 million, or 40 cents per share, up from a profit of $6.5 million, or 16 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue slid 2 percent to $136.8 million from $139.4 million.

The company also reported adjusted earnings and revenue, which exclude restructuring and acquisition-related costs, accounting adjustments for deferred revenue and other items.

On this basis, Progress earned $25.6 million, or 61 cents per share, on sales of $136.9 million.

Analysts, on average, were expecting a profit of 55 cents per share on sales of $131.9 million, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters. Analysts typically exclude one-time items from their estimates.

The quarter's operating expenses dropped 18 percent to $87.3 million.

For the full year, Progress earned $32.8 million, or 80 cents per share, down 29 percent from $46.3 million, or $1.08 per share.

Sales fell 4 percent to $494.1 million.

The company said it anticipates "strong earnings" for 2010. For the fiscal first quarter, it expects results in the range of a loss of 18 cents per share to breakeven. On an adjusted basis, it is forecasting earnings of 44 cents to 46 cents per share. It expects revenue of $123 million to $126 million.

Analysts are predicting earnings of 45 cents per share on sales of $125.3 million.

Progress forecast earnings of $1 to $1.25 per share, adjusted earnings of $2.15 to $2.25 per share and revenue of $520 million to $530 million for the full fiscal year.

In afternoon trading, shares of Progress Software rallied $2.10, or 8.1 percent, to $27.99. Earlier the stock hit a 52-week high of $28.50.