Compuware Struts Its Stuff

Back on July's Q2 conference call, Compuware (Nasdaq: CPWR  ) CEO Peter Karmanos Jr. seemed peeved about the performance of his sales force, announcing that half the group might lose their jobs. The team appeared to take that message to heart, judging by the improvement Compuware enjoyed in Q3, which Karmanos dubbed a "heck of a quarter."

Revenue increased 4.6% to $302 million, while license revenue rose 23.4% to $70 million. Earnings per share, adjusted for restructuring charges, spiked 143% to $0.17 per share.

The Vantage product offering, which manages the delivery of information technology (IT) services, saw license revenue increase 68% to $21.5 million. A 108.4% surge in license revenues for Changepoint, which provides companies with a comprehensive view of their IT assets, contributed another $6.7 million.

Compuware's Covisint division, a web-based platform to help with supply-chain management, continues to grow. Q3 revenue spiked 40% to $10.1 million, a gain of roughly $477,000. Interestingly enough, the company mentioned the possibility of spinning Covisint into its own IPO.

Investors have undoubtedly been excited about web-based software players, bidding up shares for such firms as (NYSE: CRM  ) and Taleo (Nasdaq: TLEO  ) . The IPO market for such companies has also been robust, with Constant Contact (Nasdaq: CTCT  ) and athenahealth (Nasdaq: ATHN  ) debuting since September. Their stock prices have also climbed significantly since they hit the market.

Despite Compuware's rapid, noticeable progress on all fronts, investors should remain cautious. Compuware has a history of volatility, and it's still competing against major rivals such as IBM (NYSE: IBM  ) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) . Besides, it could easily take six months to engineer an IPO for Covisint. For Foolish investors, it's probably too early to tell whether Compuware is one heck of a stock.

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