NCR meets expectations; SAP profits rise 16%

Computer World –

NCR Corp. today reported fourth-quarter financial results that were in keeping with a reduced-expectations warning it issued earlier this month. And Computer Associates International Inc. said yesterday it had a net loss of $342 million in its third fiscal quarter.

But Islandia, N.Y.-based CA added that it earned an operating profit of $247 million under a "pro forma pro rata" accounting approach that excludes some special charges and takes into account a new subscription-based software licensing model that the company announced last fall. CA stock was up $1.75 per share, to $34, in late-morning trading.

Meanwhile, EMC Corp. and SAP AG reported more positive results. EMC, a maker of storage devices in Hopkinton, Mass., said its net profit increased 49% year-to-year in the fourth quarter to $563 million on revenue of $2.6 billion. Germany-based business applications vendor SAP announced that its fourth-quarter profit rose 16% to $343.7 million on revenue of just over $2 billion. EMC stock rose a slight 56 cents per share, to $77.06, this morning.

Dayton, Ohio-based NCR said its fourth-quarter profit totaled $90 million, down from $235 million in the same period of 1999. Revenue was virtually flat at $1.7 billion, a showing that NCR attributed to a shortfall in expected sales to users in the retail industry. Cost-cutting actions are already under way at the company's retail business units as a result, the company said. NCR stock was up 6 cents per share, to $43.19, late this morning.

Excluding restructuring costs and other one-time charges, NCR said, fourth-quarter profit would have increased 44% from the prior year. Lars Nyberg, NCR's chairman and CEO, said in a statement that company executives "are not satisfied that our original revenue and operating income targets were not attained." But he added that they're hopeful for the future, due partly to the cost-cutting steps and NCR's exit from some "commodity businesses."

NCR is just one of many technology vendors that have already reported lower-than-expected financial results or warned that their revenue and profits won't meet expectations. For example, Dell Computer Corp. yesterday disclosed that profits for the quarter ending Feb. 2 will be about 33% less than it had been predicting.

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