* Q4 EPS C$0.35 vs loss/shr C$0.05 last year
* Revenue up 28 pct at C$14.3 mln
* Sales contracts down 6 pct at C$20.2 mln
* Sees 2010 sales contracts of C$80-C$86 mln
* Shares rise as much as 12 pct (Adds details, CEO comment, share movement)
By Isheeta Sanghi
BANGALORE, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Canada's Absolute Software Corp (ABT.TO) posted a fourth-quarter profit, helped by a tax gain, and forecast higher sales contracts for fiscal 2010, sending its shares up as much as 12 percent.
The provider of computer security solutions reported a net income of C$16.5 million ($15.31 million), or 35 Canadian cents a share, compared with a net loss of C$2.3 million, or 5 Canadian cents a share, in the prior-year period.
The profit was mainly due to a tax gain of C$16.8 million.
Sales contracts totalled C$20.2 million, down 6 percent from C$21.5 million last year. In constant dollar terms, the company said sales contracts declined 17 percent.
"The large deals are more difficult to come by. They are put on hold but the business is quite well diversified, in terms of run-rate business with existing customers, and that continued to take place, which was a very positive sign," Chief Executive John Livingston told Reuters.
Existing customers contributed to about 70 percent of overall sales contracts for the quarter, he said.
CEO Livingston said all of the company's commercial segments, which include education, corporate, government and healthcare, would drive growth in fiscal 2010.
Absolute said it expects fiscal 2010 sales contracts in the range of of C$80 million to C$86 million, and cash from operations of C$12 million to C$15 million.
For fiscal 2009, sales contracts stood at C$71.9 million.
Absolute's revenue model differs from others since customers pay for up to three years in advance, and while the company gets the cash up-front, it recognizes revenue over a deferred period of time.
For the quarter ended June 30, revenue rose 28 percent to C$14.3 million.
Analysts on an average were expecting the company to post a loss of 2 Canadian cents a share on revenue of C$15.2 million, according to Reuters Estimates.
Absolute Software shares, which have surged 37 percent in the past three months, rose to a high of C$6.49 before paring some gains to trade up 16 Canadian cents at C$5.94 Tuesday afternoon on the Toronto Stock Exchange. ($1=1.078 Canadian dollar) (Additional reporting by Krishna Chaithanya; Editing by Ranjit Gangadharan and Deepak Kannan)