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At the beginning of the year that many are saying will be the year
desktop virtualization is finally ready for prime time, virtualization
vendor Citrix Systems (NASDAQ:CTXS) is off to an auspicious start.

Citrix reported fiscal 2009 fourth quarter revenue of $451 million
compared to $416 for the same period a year ago – growing 9 percent.
For the fiscal year 2009, Citrix reported revenue of $1.61 billion
compared to $1.58 billion for 2008 – a 2 percent increase in a year
when many technology vendors saw double-digit declines.

Citrix reported net income of $88 million, or 47 cents per diluted
share for Q4 compared to $60 million, or 33 cents per diluted share for
the same period last year. For the year, net income was $191 million or
$1.03 per diluted share, compared to $178 million or 96 cents per
diluted share for the previous year.

“In the fourth quarter, we saw a lot of interest in desktop
virtualization,” said Mark Templeton, president and CEO, in a prepared
statement. “That combined with the timely launch of XenDesktop and
uncommitted IT budget dollars, helped propel a record-breaking quarter.

"We continue to see CIOs looking for ways to simplify and drive costs
out of enterprise computing. Going forward, we’ll set our sights on
helping those CIOs by bringing desktop virtualization to the
mainstream, broadening the reach of Web collaboration, and powering
public and private clouds,” he added.

Citrix said it expects net revenue for the first quarter in the range
of $405 million to $410 million, and diluted earnings per share in the
range of 23 cents to 25 cents.

For the year 2010 Citrix is forecasting net revenue in the range of
$1.74 billion to $1.76 billion and diluted earnings per share in the
range of $1.33 to $1.34.

“We were impressed with the company’s performance on the large deal
front and improved execution within both the Americas and international
markets,” said financial analyst firm FBR Research in a brief report
following Citrix’s earnings release. “We believe this is a positive
dynamic that should provide tailwinds for the company as it marches
into FY10. That said, we remain on the sidelines, given our belief that
the next few quarters could prove to be challenging, as enterprises
prioritize their 2010 IT spending budgets in a slowly recovering macro
environment.”

Further, the firm says it remains to be seen whether 2010 will be a
breakout year for desktop virtualization as companies are still
learning about how their concerns about the technology will be
addressed going forward

FBR Research said it was raising its revenue estimates for the first quarter to $408.1 million and for the year to $175 billion.