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CA 2003 results delayed

35-day months take their toll

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Computer Associates is delaying posting its year end results because of the strain on its finance department which last month had to repost results for 2000 and 2001. CA will post final results a week or two after the expected date of 12 May.

Preliminary results for the fourth quarter have been totted up by the weary accountants. Turnover for the fourth quarter ended 31 March was expected to be $850m which would give revenue for the year of $3.28bn, narrowly missing targets of between $3.29bn and $3.31bn. CA is hoping to acheive net income of between $0.04 and $0.06 per share - its first profitable year since 2000.

Jeff Clarke, CA's chief operating officer, said: "These preliminary results reflect the solid performance CA enjoyed in the fourth quarter.. bookings(new deferred subscription revenue) increased more than 30 per cent year-over-year."

Clarke said sales were good worldwide but especially strong in North America and Europe. He said CA's eTrust, Unicenter, AllFusion and BrightStor all showed good growth in the period.

He further explained that the refiling of accounts was an intensive process that absorbed thousands of hours of work. The recount was begun after US regulators found the company was booking revenue into the wrong quarters in order to hit targets. CA used a 35-day month to squeeze sales into quarters which had already ended. The investigation found more than $2bn had been moved in this way but found no evidence of fake sales.

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