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Executives

Lisa Elkin – Vice President, Communications & Investor Relations

Peter J. Karmanos, Jr. - Chairman of the Board & Chief Executive Officer

Robert C. Paul – President & Chief Operating Officer

Laura Lawson Fournier - Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President & Treasurer

Analysts

Walter Pritchard – Cowen and Company

David Rudow – Thrivent Financial

Compuware Corporation (CPWR) F3Q09 Earnings Call January 28, 2009 5:00 PM ET

Operator

Welcome to the Compuware Corporation’s third quarter results teleconference. At the request of Compuware this conference is available recorded for instant replay purposes. At this time I’d like to turn the conference over to Miss Lisa Elkin, Vice President of Communications and Investor Relations for Compuware Corporation.

Lisa Elkin

With me this afternoon are Peter Karmanos, Jr., Chairman and CEO; Bob Paul, President and Chief Operating Officer; Laura Fournier, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; and Laura Fournier, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Certain statements made during this conference call that are not historical facts including those regarding the company’s future plans, objectives and expected performance are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Federal Securities laws. These forward-looking statements represent our outlook only as of the date of this conference call.

While we believe any forward-looking statements we have made are reasonable actual results could differ materially since the statements are based on our current expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties are discussed in the company’s reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You should refer to and consider these factors when relying on such forward-looking information.

The company does not undertake and expressly disclaims any obligation to update or alter its forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise except as required by applicable law. For those of you who do not have a copy I will begin by summarizing the press release.

Pete, Bob and Laura will then provide details about the quarter and other Compuware business activities. We will then open the call to your questions. Compuware conquers difficult environment in Q3, grows EPS by more than 7%, business service delivery focus to drive breakout growth in profitability.

Compuware today announced financial results for its third quarter ended December 31st, 2008. Compuware report third quarter revenues of $268.7 million compared to $309.3 million in the same quarter last year. Earnings per share before restructuring charges grew to $0.15 in Q3 compared to $0.14 per share in the same quarter last year based upon 246.8 million and 282.5 million shares outstanding respectively.

On a GAAP basis earnings per share were $0.14 compared to $0.13 in the same quarter last year. Compuware’s third quarter net income before restructuring charges was $37.5 million compared to $38.8 million in the same period last year. on a GAAP basis Compuware delivered net income of $35 million in Q3 compared to net income of $35.6 million in the same quarter last year.

During the third quarter the company’s software license fee revenue was $60.5 million compared to $79.4 million in the same quarter last year. Maintenance fees recognized in the quarter were $116.6 million compared to $120 million in Q3 last year. Revenue from professional services in Q3 was $91.6 million compared to $109.9 million in the same quarter last year. I would now like to turn the call over to Pete.

Peter J. Karmanos, Jr.

I’m happy to say that Compuware produced a solid Q3 in a tough economic climate. For the quarter we delivered year-over-year increases in earnings per share and operating income. Maintenance renewals were strong, new license revenue was respectable.

As we continue the translation of our services business to a higher value, higher margin model even though our services revenue was down I expect this business to continue becoming more aligned with our products business resulting in complete solutions for our customers and much improved margins for Compuware.

In this tough economic environment Compuware can thrive because we provide the people, products and processes that eliminate costs and drive innovation. We also enjoy strong and long standing relationships with some of the world's largest and most stable companies. If anybody can define for me what a stable company is these days, we got those and our customer care organization continues to strengthen those partnerships.

At the same time we are managing the business very responsibly, driving costs out of the organization through a combination of financial discipline and process improvements. As a result our business remains fundamentally sound with excellent operating cash flow, more than $160 million in cash on hand and no debt and that $160 million will be $280 million by the end of the next quarter.

These are meaningful assets in the face of a worldwide economic downturn that continues to extend buying cycles. Despite the downturn we have seen no increase in bad receivables. We remain widely diversified in our business relationships and largely unaffected by pressures that impact any single industry.

We have seen modest softness in professional services and [inaudible] business related to automotive industries but the OEMs, particularly GM, in the supplier communities remain fertile ground for Compuware's growth. To take advantage of all our opportunities in the months and years ahead Compuware is implementing a three year strategy that will align our company and all of its business decisions around a primary value proposition.

By doing so we aim to push Compuware operating margins toward the 20% range with our ultimate goal being somewhere of 25%. Bob will detail this strategy more fully for you and he and I are in lock step on the need for this unifying vision and the steps necessary to realize it. In an environment like today’s any business leaders run for cover waiting for difficult circumstances to pass.

Either we’re smart or stupid but we’re not going to hunker down. We will join many of our most innovative and strategic customers by boldly planning for growth and I’m more optimistic than I’ve ever been that we are implementing the people, the processes and the strategies that will get us there.

Robert C. Paul

Compuware put together a good third quarter in a difficult economic environment. Earnings were up compared to last year, maintenance revenue held strong and while license revenue dipped slightly we mostly delays and not losses in those deals. As we move into Q4 we continue to reduce costs while investing in the business. Fiscal year-to-date Compuware has increased EPS by 44% through operational success and financial discipline.

Year-over-year income from operations is up by more than $50 million. We’re tracking in this unprecedented economic environment to deliver meaningfully increased earnings per share for the year and there’s much, much better to come. Last year Compuware began a transformational journey called Compuware 2.0.

Some of the improvements from 2.0 have already been implemented while many more will be put into place in preparation for a smooth transition into an exciting fiscal year 10. Drawing on the company's longstanding values and strengths Compuware 2.0 is based upon five core principles. Value, Compuware is in the business to deliver economic value to our customers.

We do things that are important, strategic and differentiated enough to earn our customers’ money. This disciplined mindset is allowing us to more consistently and efficiently achieve great success with our customers.

Focus, to deliver maximum value to our customers and growth for our shareholders and employees we focus where we can be best in the world. By achieving best in class status Compuware will enjoy first mover advantage and a pull in the marketplace for our solutions.

Alignment, the company has achieved agreement on its primary value proposition ensuring that we organize and invest to executive against. By clearly aligning all of our resources behind the compelling goal we will create a more leveraged and efficient attack on our target markets.

Referenceability, we will grow this business one reference customer at a time. Just like most consumers technology buyers seek and value the opinions of their peers. Through a common purpose, sharp focus and clear alignment Compuware will deliver undeniable and public success with the referenceable customers deliver that growth.

Simplicity, by simplifying our position in the marketplace, by doing things like standardizing our pricing, by streamlining our implementation services we will deliver simple, complete solutions to make the lives of IT and business executives easier. Simplicity will drive scale for Compuware and faster returns for our customers.

Also as investors and prospects clearly understand our mission we believe the benefits will be dramatic. Let’s talk about the measurable progress Compuware has made in each of these fundamental areas over the last year. We are delivering more and more economic value to our customers particularly through the work of our technology group, our customer care organization and our solutions delivery group.

More than ever we offer complete solutions to pressing problems with our proven base upon detail to return on investments. To extend our success in delivering economic value Compuware solutions are focused on end to end application performance in the industry category of business service delivery.

Simply put business service delivery is Compuware’s approach to ensuring that applications work well and deliver value. Large companies like our customers do not invest in technology for its own sake, they invest in applications to get work done, to drive revenue, to reduce costs and to increase innovation.

Through our business service delivery approach Compuware is becoming the world leader in ensuring excellence in end to end application performance. We’re doubling down on this market for two reasons, first complex and increasingly disruptive IT trends like service oriented architecture, utility computing, cloud computing, virtualization and others are aggravating the already pervasive and expensive problems with application performance that need to be solved.

This will drive even more demand for our solutions. Second we already have a functional competitive advantage in this category. Compuware’s business service delivery solution provides superior end to end application performance monitoring because it’s from the view that matters most, that of the end users of business applications. We eliminate expensive war room sessions, we provide both component and application level views in the application service.

We show technology people where and how to fix performance problems and we show business people how resolving or avoiding those problems benefits them. In doing so Compuware business service delivery meets the needs of both business and technology leaders and that’s how you get purchase requisitions signed.

We will achieve additional breakout growth by layering related target market initiatives or TMIs on top of our strategic focus. TMIs attack a highly specific problem in an industry segment enabling rapid growth and category dominance. In the coming weeks you’ll hear more about our first target market initiative.

While we have a strong business service delivery focus we continue to value and support our change point and mainframe solutions which have been competing extremely well in their respective categories. Compuware will continue to invest in these areas to accelerate our market share growth. Professional services Covisint also remain key contributors to our whole product philosophy.

We are making the necessary changes in the professional services organization to ensure a maximum 15% margin in the coming quarters. Covisint continues to make key customer acquisitions as the health care revolution around information transparency starts to gather momentum and the unifacing quality businesses continue to operate a stand alone unit allowing separate management teams to maximize the efficiency and the value of these offerings.

Compuware is already aligning the company to support business service delivery. Through an agile development model our technology team has increased its efficiency and more importantly its focus on delivering differentiated capabilities that will help us to win in the marketplace. We’ve also established a new model for strategic partnerships that will allow us to focus on our core value proposition while delivering a whole solution to our customers.

We have created a strategic planning and product line management team dedicated to running the company’s solution portfolio to delivering on the strategy and to guiding the investment plans necessary to achieve our goals not just next quarter but next year and the year after that.

To begin leveraging this alignment our customer care and training organizations have already partnered to build customer referenceability into the standards Compuware sales and implementation processes. Every customer will want to be a part of our Compuware reference model and understand the value of that opportunity for them.

Our marketing team is also working hard to employ referenceable customers in next year’s fiscal market awareness campaign. This market awareness campaign will span multiple channels and geographies to create more awareness of and consideration for our proven focus solutions. this awareness campaign will build on recent and exciting enhancements to our near term lead generation activities by driving longer term leads into the Compuware sales funnel.

Through a number of new initiatives focused on internal operations, on requirements definition, pricing and sales operations we are making it simpler than ever to do business with us. A simple business is easy to understand, it’s scalable, it’s transparent and more efficient. Our goal is to make Compuware the easiest technology company in the world with whom to do business.

As we move forward through Q4 I continue to see meaningful economic pressures impacting operations. Our customers continue to buy but there is slightly more time in their buying decisions. Given these economic factors I expect Compuware to deliver between $0.50 and $0.60 per share in earnings for the fiscal year.

With the dramatic nature of the cultural and operational transformation under way at the company and the poor economy worldwide I’m pleased that the company continues to deliver year-over-year growth in EPS. I’m also pleased with the remarkable progress we have made in achieving a recommitment to value, a focus strategy, an aligned organization to achieve that strategy.

Through reference customers and a simpler business model we will create a pull in the marketplace for Compuware’s business service delivery and other solutions. I expect solid results for Q4, great things for fiscal year 10 and I look forward to detailing those for you on our year end call in May.

Laura Lawson Fournier

We are very pleased with the company’s performance in the third quarter especially in light of the severe economic crisis affecting the entire world. Just in case you missed this point in Lisa’s feed or Bob’s comments not only did EPS for the quarter increase over the same period as last year, but our earnings per share for the first three quarters of the year is up a robust 44% compared to the first three quarters of the previous year.

The fundamentals of our company are solid. We remain debt free, we have positive operating cash flow, maintenance renewals continue to high and our sales pipeline is healthy. Overall we are in very good shape. In fact despite lengthening sales cycles and increased customer cautiousness our total product commitments for the quarter nearly reached $200 million a 54% increase over Q2.

Maintenance renewals also came in very strong for the quarter. While maintenance revenue was down approximately 3% year-over-year the decline can be attributed entirely to the effect of currency during the quarter. Our operating cash flow remains stable as well with Q3 cash flow coming in at approximately $12 million. While this figure is lower than what we had anticipated for the quarter we still see operating cash flow for year coming in around $200 million.

In terms of collections our days sales outstanding metrics did increase over Q2 to Q3, however it is by no means an indication of bad or problem receivables. Given the economic concerns of many companies payment cycles have elongated. We are seeing an average increase of 15 to 30 days. Overall though collections are strong and our over 90 day receivables are less than 1% of the total.

Regarding cash usage our current position has not changed from he previous conference call. we will continue to hold on to our cash until we have a better feel for the direction of the economy. Once we believe the economy has turned to the positive we will use our cash to continue to our stock buy back program or to make acquisitions in support of our strategic direction.

In closing I want to reiterate that we feel very good about where we stand today in these trying times as well as where we’re headed. Our fundamentals are solid, our strategy is proven, our pipeline is healthy and our resolve is stronger than it’s ever been.

Lisa Elkin

Ladies and gentlemen we will be happy to take your questions.

Question-And-Answer Session

Operator

(Operator Instructions) Our first question comes from Walter Pritchard – Cowen and Company.

Walter Pritchard – Cowen and Company

Laura, I wasn’t 100% clear on the effect of currency on maintenance revenue. I think we’ve seen currency bounce around quite a bit just over the last three years and it’s the first time that it seems likes it’s had this impact. Was there something different going on in terms of its impact on maintenance this quarter?

Laura Lawson Fournier

Absolutely not, it’s just a function of where the currency levels went during the quarter because we have to use average rates but for maintenance revenue the decline from Q2 to Q3 as well as the year-over-year we can absolutely attribute the entire thing to currency. If we did it at the same rates as last year for example, the European maintenance numbers and international numbers would have grown.

Walter Pritchard – Cowen and Company

And I guess we saw the billings on the maintenance side actually pretty good. On the pro serve side, I’m not surprised to see it shrink. I guess the question would be in terms of margins there, is there a point where we’re going to see those margins come up as it shrinks? It seem like you’re trying to distill that down to a business that’s got higher profitability. That question first and then I just had a follow up around pro serve.

Peter J. Karmanos, Jr.

We’re taking several actions over the next few months and starting off the new fiscal year that business will be a 15% to 20% operating margin business and that may require us cutting back in some other areas, but we have a very good handle on the high profit business that we have going forward and we think that you won’t see much more decline in our services revenue but you’ll see a dramatic, dramatic increase in the profitability of that business.

Walter Pritchard – Cowen and Company

Just around that business, Pete, it seems like the majority of that, you almost have to cut that business in half or some sort of meaningful amount to get that down to, I guess this is just my sense. Is that the case? Is that something we should expect to hear you do? Thus far it seems like it’s been sort of incremental cuts in that business.

Peter J. Karmanos, Jr.

We have two or three real problem accounts where the margin is nil and we’re going to fix those in the next few months one way or the other. In addition to that, we know that over a third of the value of the advantage contracts are going to be services and almost as much as 50% of the other product, change point, are going to be services and we’re well above a 40% gross margin on those.

We understand exactly the focus that we need at this point in time and you’ll see a very rapid change in that business. In addition to that, we have a couple of our automotive customers that are seemingly going to rely a lot more on us and we think they’re in pretty good shape these days and we can move forward there with some much better margin business.

We fell into this trap of trying to run our formerly high tech installation application development business at supplemental staffing rates and it’s taken longer than it should to have straighten that out. But we have very, very good people and we have places now that we can get the kind of margins for them that we should be able to get. It’s refreshing, it’s going to be a lot of fun.

Walter Pritchard – Cowen and Company

To follow up on that, you’re doing about $90 million a quarter there. Is that a $50 million a quarter business? I’m just trying to get a sense of how much we should see that decline because to some degree we want to see that decline. On the other hand, people are surprised generally at revenue declines. I’m just trying to set the expectation there or try to figure out where that should level off at once you get to where you want to be.

Peter J. Karmanos, Jr.

Perhaps I’m pollyannish but I believe we have some very neat timing going on where we have a major client that’s going to be requiring significant amounts of increased effort from us at higher margin business simultaneous with me reducing the horrible margin business that we currently have. If I’m lucky, and I’d rather be lucky than good, we probably won’t see much of a decline and I fact start to see that grow but if timing is off, we could conceivably drop down in the $200 million to $250 million a year range.

But that $250 million is 15% to 20% margin versus $400 million at nil margin.

Walter Pritchard – Cowen and Company

Laura, on the receivables I guess I didn’t catch the whole part of that, but it sounds like your over 90 days, the balance is okay, we haven’t seen that be kind of the consensus among peers that receivables are getting a lot harder to collect or if they’re seeing elongation in payment cycles. I’m wondering is this associated with a couple really big transactions or maybe you could go into a little bit more depth on that?

Laura Lawson Fournier

We’re seeing somewhat elongation in several clients and we’ve had some requests for longer payment periods but we’ve absolutely had no problems or issues with collecting it eventually and we did expect higher collections in Q3. We had expected our cash flow to be a little higher but it’s just in the first week of the fourth quarter, we had over $10 million of receivables that we expected in Q3 to come in that week.

It’s just that we’ve seen elongation and I wouldn’t want anyone to read into the DSO that there’s some issues there.

Walter Pritchard – Cowen and Company

Directionally can you give us a sense of the magnitude of the decline you’d expect in DSO here in the March quarter? It sounds like you’ve seen some of that payment, you must have some visibility into what else is coming in. What does that look like exiting March?

Laura Lawson Fournier

In the fourth quarter we really expect to make up for most of what we missed in Q2 and our DSO without the installment receivables was 96 days. We can see that go back down to I think in the 70 day range.

Operator

Our next question goes to David Rudow – Thrivent Financial/

David Rudow – Thrivent Financial

Back to the services question, have you closed any of these large or this large service deal yet and what’s the timing on it if you haven’t?

Peter J. Karmanos, Jr.

We have closed. We’re doing a very good job with these people.

David Rudow – Thrivent Financial

This is I would assume an existing customer that you’ve had over the years?

Peter J. Karmanos, Jr.

Most all companies are existing customers that we’ve had over the years, but yes. That’s a good assumption.

David Rudow – Thrivent Financial

Was any of this deal billed in the quarter or is it just getting ramped up now?

Peter J. Karmanos, Jr.

In the services business it’s an ongoing, it isn’t like all of a sudden you do $500 million worth of stuff. This has been building and you’ll see the full effect of it throughout the coming fiscal year.

David Rudow – Thrivent Financial

Do you expect to see any revenues flow in Q4 from this deal?

Peter J. Karmanos, Jr.

Yes.

David Rudow – Thrivent Financial

What was the largest deal that you closed in the quarter?

Peter J. Karmanos, Jr.

Services?

David Rudow – Thrivent Financial

Services and product.

Peter J. Karmanos, Jr.

None. Laura do you have information on that?

Laura Lawson Fournier

I can give you that. We had several large deals close during the quarter. $2 million was the largest in maintenance. There was a product premium deal of over $10 million as well.

David Rudow – Thrivent Financial

What about on the services side?

Laura Lawson Fournier

Services is an ongoing monthly, weekly billing cycle of projects and continuous services and we don’t necessarily have one big invoice or one big project billed.

Peter J. Karmanos, Jr.

We closed some deals this last quarter that are $4 million deals, $5 million deals potentially if they play out. But that’s the nature of that business.

David Rudow – Thrivent Financial

This big services deal that you’re talking about, could that be in the $50 million to $100 million range or greater over time?

Peter J. Karmanos, Jr.

Greater over time annually.

Laura Lawson Fournier

It think it’s important to know that it’s not just one project with that customer, it’s projects building on each other and new projects coming along and there’s a lot of different types of work at that customer.

David Rudow – Thrivent Financial

But it is at that higher margin rate, too?

Laura Lawson Fournier

Absolutely.

Peter J. Karmanos, Jr.

Yes.

David Rudow – Thrivent Financial

What were the revenue contributions from IBM in the quarter?

Laura Lawson Fournier

There was nothing out of the ordinary or significant.

David Rudow – Thrivent Financial

Both product and services?

Peter J. Karmanos, Jr.

Right.

David Rudow – Thrivent Financial

What do you think the tax rate will be for Q4 and will we see a catch up for the R&D tax credit in Q4 too on the tax side?

Laura Lawson Fournier

We were able to take the R&D tax credit that kept up this quarter and next quarter we should go back to about 36%.

David Rudow – Thrivent Financial

The decline in maintenance revenues, did you guys talk about that already?

Laura Lawson Fournier

It was currency. If you look at the breakdown it was in AMEA and international and we can attribute it all to currency. If the rates would have been the same, actually AMEA would have had an increase in maintenance revenue.

David Rudow – Thrivent Financial

I know since I was in attendance a long ways away, but given the fact that we have a better margin picture on the services side, even assuming slower license revenue growth and stable maintenance, we should be able to see margin growth in 2010, even in a tough license revenue market, shouldn’t we?

Peter J. Karmanos, Jr.

Absolutely.

Robert C. Paul

Yes.

David Rudow – Thrivent Financial

On top of additional cost cuts and everything else, right?

Peter J. Karmanos, Jr.

Yes, sir.

David Rudow – Thrivent Financial

Any change in the competition specifically to IBM on the mainframe side? How’s pricing?

Peter J. Karmanos, Jr.

Things are progressing well. I think we’re working on some deals with IBM in partnership basis that hopefully will bear fruition and it’ll be good for both of us.

Robert C. Paul

David, we’ve seen nothing tactically change in any of the deals that we’ve worked on or won in the last couple quarters. We are working hard at establishing much more positive relationships which I think will start to bear fruit in fiscal year 10.

David Rudow – Thrivent Financial

On the premium licensing side, you expect to see some benefit from that in the quarter and the coming fiscal too?

Robert C. Paul

There’s some benefit. It’s not as an important a issue anymore as the premium licenses were primarily focused around capacity increases and a lot of companies aren’t experiencing those capacity increases, the premium license doesn’t make as much sense for them. But there are still deals out there for sure.

David Rudow – Thrivent Financial

Changes, any updates on the competitive front for the distributor product line?

Robert C. Paul

Not really. The point niche competitors are still out there and we position very, very well against them by having a much more complete solution obviously. I think we’re doing a much a better job at proving value in the IT portfolio management space and the change point business. With Vantage 11 coming out in March which is a really strong release both in user interface and combining information across the [inaudible] platform so both mainframe and distributed architectures driving single dashboards to solve the problems that we solve.

It’s going to further differentiate us so we’re very, very excited about this release of the product.

David Rudow – Thrivent Financial

Who do you most commonly go up against in Vantage competitive deals?

Robert C. Paul

It’s a mixed bag. It’s across the board based upon whether their infrastructure is driving the problem or it’s a web based app that’s driving the problem. What we’re doing now is just having a much better discussion around strategic relevance so rather than wondering about where the problem is coming from next, have a single environment with all the tools and one environment driving a single decision support tool that’s going to solve everything for you.

David Rudow – Thrivent Financial

Final question, what were the recognized revenues for Covisint in the quarter?

Peter J. Karmanos, Jr.

About $8.8 million.

Robert C. Paul

$8.8 million right and they had a 20+% growth in billings and I think greater than that in product commitments.

Laura Lawson Fournier

And I have to just clarify one point or the salespeople will never forgive me, but in terms of large deals we had two deals that were actually bigger than the ones we mentioned. One was $32 million, maintenance and product and the other was $16.3 million.

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen we will now conclude the question-and-answer portion of today’s conference. I would now like to turn the conference back over to Lisa Elkin.

Lisa Elkin

At this time ladies and gentlemen we will adjourn this conference call. Thank you very much for your time and interest in Compuware and we hope you have a pleasant evening.

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen this conference will be available for replay after 7:00 pm Eastern time today through midnight February 4th, 2009. You may access the AT&T replay system at any time by dialing 1-800-475-6701 and entering the access code 975120. International participants may dial 320-365-3844. Again those numbers are 1+-800-475-6701 and 320-365-3844, access code 975120.

That does conclude our conference for today. Thank you for your participation and for using AT&T Executive Teleconference Service. You may now disconnect.

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Source: Compuware Corporation F3Q09 (Qtr End 12/31/08) Earnings Call Transcript
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