Compuware Shares Dropped: What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of software and services company Compuware (NAS: CPWR) were on investors' no-fly list today as they fell as much as 10% in intraday trading after the company announced disappointing fiscal-third-quarter results.

So what: While many companies' stocks are moving and shaking right now as they step to the mic and announce earnings from the quarter that ended in December, others -- like Compuware -- are seeing their stocks swing as they warn investors of softer-than-expected results. For the company's fiscal third quarter, which ended Dec. 31, management expects to report earnings per share of $0.10 on 2% revenue growth. Wall Street analysts, on average, were looking for $0.12 in earnings per share and peppier revenue growth.

The company blamed the lackluster results on its Application Performance Management and Mainframe Solutions lines, which didn't live up to management's expectations. APM revenue was up 16% from last year, while Mainframe Solutions fell 10% from last year.

Now what: In the company's press release, management sounded upbeat about the fiscal fourth quarter, noting the expectation that APM's growth will pick up and the Covisint business will continue to perform well. However, the company's forecast for full-year earnings per share -- at the midpoint of the forecast range -- of $0.41 implies fourth-quarter EPS of $0.13. Analysts had been looking for $0.18 in per-share profit for the quarter.

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