Citrix to cut 900 jobs as a 'defensive' move

It expects to save between $90 million and $100 million a year as a result

Citrix Systems announced better than expected financial results for the last quarter but also a restructuring plan that will see 900 jobs being cut.

The restructuring, which includes the elimination of 700 full-time and 200 contractor positions, is expected to deliver savings of $90 million to $100 million per year, Citrix said.

Investors seemed to cheer the news, which came out late Wednesday. Citrix's stock rose as high as $63.27 per share on Thursday, or 7 percent over the previous day's close.

"I think Citrix's plans qualify as what might be called defensive layoffs," said Charles King, principal analyst with Pund-IT.

The results beat analyst expectations, "but only barely," King noted.

Recent economic trends -- including lower oil prices and a strengthening dollar -- have caused a number of vendors to make cautionary statements about business performance, particularly for the latter half of the year, he said.

"Though painful, the Citrix headcount reductions are relatively modest and should provide the company some leeway if or when things get tough later on," King added.

Citrix's revenue for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 was $851 million, up 6 percent year over year. For the full year, revenue was $3.14 billion, up 8 percent from 2013.

For 2015, Citrix expects revenue between $3.29 billion and $3.33 billion, and earnings per share of $3.60 to $3.65. Analyst polled by Thomson Financial had predicted earnings of $3.69 a share on $3.36 billion in revenue for the year.

The layoffs will cost Citrix up to $45 million in severance this year and up to $10 million related to the consolidation of leased facilities, the company said.

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