UPDATE 2-Citrix forecasts revenue above estimates, shares rise

Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:18pm EST

* Forecasts 1st-qtr revenue $670 mln-$680 mln vs est $671 mln

* Expects adjusted earnings $0.62-$0.63/share vs est $0.67

* 4th-qtr adjusted earnings $0.90/share vs est $0.84

* Revenue $740 mln vs est $705.7 mln

* Shares up 11 pct after the bell

Jan 30 (Reuters) - Business software maker Citrix Systems Inc reported higher-than-expected fourth-quarter results, helped by strong adoption of its desktop products among healthcare customers and the U.S. government.

Citrix, whose shares were up 11 percent after the bell, said it expected first-quarter revenue of $670 million to $680 million, largely above analysts' average estimate of $670.7 million.

"As we enter the year, customer activity metrics and pipeline remain strong in all geos (geographies)," Chief Financial Officer David Henshall said on a conference call with analysts.

Citrix makes virtualization software that allows computers and mobile devices to access applications from remote servers, boosting efficiency and cutting down on the cost of installing and updating software on every device.

"There continues to be some level of volatility in the timing of closing business. That's true just in pockets throughout the world," Henshall said.

Citrix's desktop business, which includes its XenDesktop and XenApp products and accounts for three quarters of its revenue, grew 11 percent to more than $411 million in the fourth quarter.

The company had 42 deals greater than $1 million for its desktop products, representing customers in healthcare, federal government, financial services and education, Henshall said.

Citrix said in October that deals were being "resized" and delayed as a result of weak spending by the U.S. government and that it was being affected by "short-term noise around some economic changes in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa)."

Rival VMware Inc on Monday forecast a disappointing year ahead, partly due to a drop in federal spending, and said it would cut about 7 percent of its workforce as part of a restructuring.

Citrix said its net income rose to $114 million, or 60 cents per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, from $109 million, or 58 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 90 cents per share.

Revenue rose 19 percent to $740 million, with revenue from Asia Pacific up 52 percent.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of 84 cents per share on revenue of $705.7 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares of the Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based company closed at $66.98 on the Nasdaq.

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