It's been a difficult year for enterprise software developer CA (NYSE:CA). After bottoming at $19 a share in July, the stock has rallied to $25.28. Unfortunately, this was short-lived -- the company disappointed investors with its earnings announcement last Thursday. It may take much more time than expected for CA to get back on track.

In the third quarter, revenues increased 5% to $996 million. But total bookings declined during this time by 10% to $690 million. True, this can be a volatile figure; but for the first half of the year, bookings simply have not grown.

Net income for the quarter came in at $53 million or $0.09 per share, which compares to $46 million or $0.08 per share in the same period a year ago.

CA is a massive software company, with more than 1,000 products. The company has tools for things like security, IT asset management, process automation, IT governance, and so on. Interestingly enough, it's this bewildering product line that has been a problem for the business. For example, the company has had to restructure its sales force to better focus on growth products. CA has also been taking major steps in cutting the overall work force (by about 1,700 positions). The goal is to achieve $200 million in annual cost savings.

As for guidance, management forecasts full-year revenues of about $3.9 billion and earnings per share of $0.83. That's fine. But the problem is the guidance on full-year cash flows, which was lowered from $1.3 billion to a range of $900 million to $1 billion.

So why the fall-off? The drags include the slowdown in bookings, the borrowing costs from share buybacks, and restructuring costs.

Additionally, CA has suspended its stock buyback program. This may have investors wondering if there are more problems lurking. And in the meantime, as the company works out its problems, competitors continue to strengthen. For example, IBM (NYSE:IBM), EMC (NYSE:EMC), and others have been bulking up with acquisitions.

Turnarounds are usually difficult, and CA is no exception. On the conference call, CEO John Swainson said his company is in a "multi-year transformation." To translate that for investors, there is no rush to get into this stock.

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Fool contributor Tom Taulli does not own shares of companies mentioned in this article. He is currently ranked 33 out of 12,276 in CAPS.