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CA stock climbs on earnings beat

Michael Gregoire, chief executive officer of CA Inc.
Peter Foley | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Michael Gregoire, chief executive officer of CA Inc.

Technology company CA's stock rose more than 5 percent Thursday after the company reported better-than-expected earnings.

The enterprise software firm reported earnings of 60 cents per share on revenues of $1.01 billion, above the 57 cents per share on $989.5 million expected by a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate.

It was the first quarterly revenue growth in 15 quarters for the firm, according to JMP analyst Greg McDowell, who highlighted CA's high operating margins, and raised 2017 and 2018 fiscal year earnings targets.

Still, JMP "remains on the sidelines until we see an inflection point of the faster growing businesses become large enough to offset the decline in the more mature business and return of organic revenue growth," McDowell wrote.

CA has been working on releasing software that is easy to use, easy to install, has lower cost of ownership and is easy to upgrade, CEO Michael Gregoire told investors in a conference call. For instance, the company has worked closely with CNN on their mobile app and presidential election coverage, Gregoire said.

But the CA sales team is still hoping to close more deals, seeking higher-level relationships with customers, according to Gregoire.

"I'm a big believer for a software company that organic development has to be a priority," Gregoire said on the call. "I'm very impressed with the traction that the team has. I think this release — the next probably 45 days we'll have somewhere between 10 and 14 new releases of our software out. Some of this is net new products. So the organic engine is ... really starting to cook, and we're going to continue to put as much fuel into that fire as possible."

CA shares are nearly flat over the past 12 months but are up more than 10 percent so far this year.