Software maker CA Technologies, Long Island's largest company by stock market value, said Tuesday its third-quarter profits dipped 5 percent as revenue from its mainframe computer programs declined.

The company, which sells mainframe, storage and security software to large corporations, said sales dropped 5 percent, to $1.2 billion, in the three months ended Dec. 31, compared to the same period last year. Net income fell to $251 million.

Sales for mainframe software, the company's largest unit, fell 9 percent, to $622 million. The drop stemmed largely from a 2009 legal settlement that gave the company a $39 million single license payment, boosting its third quarter sales last year.

The earnings report was the first for CA chief executive Michael Gregoire. He joined the company Jan. 7 to replace Bill McCracken, who is retiring after two years at the helm.

During a call with analysts, Gregoire said he was drawn to CA, in part, by the company's growth potential, saying it had the ingredients to become a leader in the $75-billion market for corporate software.

But to do that, he said, CA needs to become more aggressive and innovative to keep pace with the ever-changing industry.

"We have a strong competency in selling large, complex enterprise deals, but we do not move the needle quickly enough in some of the new product offerings," Gregoire said.

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Despite the drop in profits, CA's income per share rose to 55 cents because the company bought back 3.4 million shares during the quarter for $75 million, reducing the number of outstanding shares.

Analysts had expected CA's sales to be $1.17 billion. The company's shares were up 25 cents in after-hours trading, to $24.80.

The stock market value of Islandia-based CA is roughly $11.28 billion. It has about 1,525 employees on Long Island and close to 14,000 employees worldwide.