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Quest Software Q4 Earnings Miss Estimate; CEO Garn To Step Down On Health Issues

Software solutions provider Quest Software, Inc. (QSFT: Quote) reported Tuesday a profit for the fourth quarter that more than halved from last year, reflecting significant income tax provisions. This was despite improved margins and revenue growth.

The company's stock lost over 2 percent in extended trading as adjusted earnings per share missed analysts' expectations by a penny. Revenues topped their estimates by a whisker.

"Q4 was a tougher quarter than we typically experience, but we are happy to announce results in line with our revised guidance," President and CEO Doug Garn said in a statement.

The company also announced that Garn is stepping down from his role as president and CEO, and said Executive Chairman Vinny Smith will return as CEO. Smith also remains as chairman, and Garn is named vice chairman, effective immediately.

The company noted that Garn has been discussing his need to step back from his role given pressing health issues. He has agreed to be the vice chairman to serve Quest with his knowledge, enthusiasm and passion for the company.

Smith previously served as CEO from 1997 to 2008, and has served as executive chairman since October 2008. He also became chairman of the Board in 1998 after joining Quest as an investor and director in 1995.

Prior to joining Quest, Smith co-founded and financed Patrol Software. Earlier, he served in the sales and marketing roles at enterprise software giant Oracle Corp. (ORCL).

The Aliso Viejo, California-based company reported net income of $12.6 million or $0.15 per share for the fourth quarter, sharply down from $37.1 million or $0.39 per share in the prior-year quarter.

Excluding special items, adjusted net income for the quarter declined to $42.6 million or $0.51 per share from $44.8 million or $0.47 per share in the year-ago quarter.

On average, eight analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.52 per share for the fourth quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Revenues for the quarter increased 13.4 percent to $245.89 million from the same quarter last year, and topped eight Wall Street analysts' consensus estimate of $243.71 million by a whisker. Revenue growth reflected increases in both licenses and services segments.

Looking ahead to fiscal 2012, the company expects total revenue to grow in the range of 8.5 to 10 percent, implying revenues between $930.30 million and $943.16 million, based on revenues of $857.42 million reported for fiscal 2011. Street is currently looking for full-year 2012 revenues of $927.69 million.

QSFT closed Tuesday's regular trading session at $21.65, up $0.09 or 0.42% on a volume of 0.67 million shares. However, the stock lost $0.53 or 2.45% in after-hours trading.

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by RTT Staff Writer

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