Blue Coat Systems Posts 4Q Profit

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (AP) — Security hardware and software maker Blue Coat Systems Inc. on Thursday posted a profit for the fiscal fourth-quarter, lifted by higher sales as companies resumed spending on technology after a lull during the recession.

But the company's guidance missed Wall Street's expectations. Investors sent its shares plummeting in extended trading.

Net income for the three months that ended April 30 was $23.6 million, or 49 cents per share. In the same period last year, Blue Coat posted a net loss of $3.5 million, or 9 cents per share.

Excluding one-time items, which included charges for stock options expenses, and tax-related gains, Blue Coat said it earned 40 cents per share. That's in line with what analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had forecast.

Revenue rose 17 percent to $132.6 million from $113.6 million in the year-ago quarter. Analyst were predicting $132.7 million in revenue.

For the fiscal year, Blue Coat posted net income of $42.9 million, or 93 cents per share. The prior year, the company's net loss was $8.5 million, or 22 cents per share.

For the current fiscal first quarter, Blue Coat said it expects to earn 35 cents to 40 cents per share, excluding items, on revenue of $121 million to $126 million.

Analysts were looking for 40 cents per share and $132.1 million in revenue.

Blue Coat's shares plunged $4.94, or 17 percent, to $24 in extended trading after the report was released. Earlier, the stock had gained $1.31, or 4.8 percent, to close at $28.84.