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The company's press release, presenting management's explanation of the accounting and internal control issues reported below, is available on the CA web site:

http://www3.ca.com/press/PressRelease.aspx?CID=88943&culture=en-us

 

 
   
CA delays earnings, sees quarterly loss
Tue May 30, 2006 2:50 PM ET

By Jim Finkle

BOSTON (Reuters) - Business software maker CA Inc. <CA.N> on Tuesday delayed filing financial results with U.S. regulators, saying it now expected a quarterly loss instead of a profit and would restate its most recent report.

Shares of CA, the former Computer Associates that is trying to return to sustained profits after a $2.2 billion accounting scandal, fell as much as 6 percent on investor fears the company has yet to exert control over its business.

"This is a blow to them. The past hasn't gotten away from CA," said Trip Chowdhry, an analyst with Global Equities Research. "The problems could be deeper than many people had thought."

CA, whose chief financial officer abruptly left the company two weeks ago, had been scheduled to report earnings for the fiscal fourth quarter ended March 31 on Tuesday.

The company said it delayed filing those results and would have to restate its third-quarter earnings after it uncovered a "material weakness" in its ability to track sales commissions.

The company said it expected to post a fourth-quarter loss of 7 cents per share, compared with a previous forecast of a profit of up to 2 cents per share, mainly due to sales commissions that were $70 million higher than expected.

CA also expects to restate third-quarter earnings to include about $26 million of additional commission expense, reducing previously reported results by 3 cents per share. The company canceled its annual meeting with analysts that had been scheduled for June 8.

"Clearly we are disappointed," said Chief Executive John Swainson. "We are making changes to ensure that these problems do not recur."

The delay is the latest in a string of setbacks for Swainson, who was hired away from rival IBM in 2004 to turn around money-losing CA. The company's former CEO, Sanjay Kumar, pleaded guilty to charges last month over his role in improperly booking revenue to meet Wall Street expectations.

MANAGEMENT TURMOIL

But CA's new management has yet to provide stability. CFO Robert Davis left earlier this month "by mutual agreement," the company said, following the departures of its chief technology officer and chief operating officer.

Swainson needs to resolve the accounting problems, reassure customers who are worried about the turmoil and stay focused on returning to profitability, analysts said.

The financial problems could shake customer confidence, hurting CA's ability to expand into new product areas such as programs to secure WiFi wireless networks as well as software that allows companies in India to manage computer networks around the globe, Chowdhry said.

"I'm not convinced the current CEO can address the customer issues, the competitive issues, the ongoing financial issues when he has lost his core team," Chowdhry said.

CA last month warned investors that its quarterly results would miss an even earlier round of forecasts, blaming what it said were miscalculations in accounting for sales from recently acquired companies.

"The CFO was let go for a reason," said Cowen & Co. analyst Walter Pritchard. "The reaction from most people I've talked to today is that they're more worried than they were yesterday, but they're not wholeheartedly surprised."

CA executives were not available for further comment.

Shares in the company were down 55 cents at $21.61 in heavy afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange after falling as low as $20.80.

(Additional reporting by Michele Gershberg in New York)

 


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