Citrix Beats 1Q Earnings, Sales Estimates

"The first quarter was a very solid beginning to 2003. We saw improvement in most metrics and even exceeded our own expectations," said Mark Templeton, president and CEO of Citrix, based here, during a conference call.

For the quarter ended March 31, Citrix reported earnings of $30.3 million, or 18 cents per share, up from $26.7 million, or 14 cents per share, the same quarter a year ago.

Revenue for the quarter grew to $143.5 million, up from $142.3 million the same quarter last year.

Excluding items, the company reported earnings of $32.2 million, or 19 cents per share, compared to $29.3 million, or 16 cents per share, the same quarter a year ago.

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Financial analysts expected Citrix to report earnings of 13 cents per share on revenue of $126 million, according to Thomson Financial/First Call.

In January, Citrix said it expected to report adjusted earnings per share for the quarter in the range of 11 cents to 13 cents and revenue in the range of $120 million to $130 million.

During the quarter, the company introduced Citrix MetaFrame Access Suite, which includes its flagship MetaFrame XP Presentation Server; MetaFrame Secure Access Manger (the next version of the product formerly named NFuse Elite); and two new products: MetaFrame Conferencing Manager and MetaFrame Password Manager.

Citrix plans to deliver all four products this quarter, starting with Feature Release 3 of MetaFrame XP, which will be generally available next month, Templeton said.

The company also will focus on training channel partners and internal sales and services personnel on the new products, he said.

The products initially will be priced separately, though Citrix is considering an all-in-one license for the entire suite, he said.

The company plans to announce MetaFrame XP and MetaFrame Conferencing Manager Thursday in conjunction with Microsoft's scheduled launch of Windows Server 2003.

Templeton called the new operating system "the best platform Microsoft has ever released."

"It gives us a more robust, more stable and more flexible platform for our entire product suite to run on," Templeton said.

For the second quarter, Citrix expects to report earnings of 13 cents to 16 cents per share on revenue of $135 million to $145 million.

Shares of Citrix closed down five cents at $15.43 prior to the earnings report.