Why Computer Sciences Corporation Shares Popped Today

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 Computer Sciences Corporation (NYSE: CSC  ) jumped more than 10% early Friday, then settled to close up around 8% after IT services specialist turned in solid fiscal fourth-quarter 2014 results.

So what: Quarterly revenue fell 4.9%, to $3.33 billion, which translated to earnings of $1.17 per diluted share -- and that includes a $0.02 per share loss from discontinued operations. CSC also repurchased 2.5 million shares during the quarter at an average price of $60.63 per share. Analysts, on average, were looking for quarterly earnings of just $1.04 per share on slightly higher sales of $3.36 billion.

For fiscal 2015, Computer Sciences Corporation is targeting revenue to be "flat to slightly up," with earnings per share from continuing operations of $4.35 to $4.55. The midpoint of that range is slightly above analysts' expectations, which called for fiscal 2015 earnings of $4.43 per share.

Now what: CEO John Michael Lawrie did warn, however, that "near-term sluggishness" in the North American Public Sector will likely cause the first half of this fiscal year to be slower, though it should be followed by "better momentum in the second half." To reward investors for their patience in the meantime, Computer Sciences' board not only approved a new $1.5 billion share repurchase authorization, but also increased the quarterly dividend by 15%, to $0.23 per share.

In the end, for those who don't mind collecting a dividend and waiting for CSC's business to gain steam, I think Computer Sciences Corporation stock looks like a solid long-term bet.

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