February 6, 2008 / 9:56 PM / 12 years ago

EDS profit and forecast miss estimates; stock down

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Electronic Data Systems Corp EDS.N, the second-largest technology outsourcing company, posted lower-than-expected quarterly earnings on Wednesday and gave a weak 2008 forecast, sending its shares lower.

The stock fell 3.7 percent after EDS reported fourth-quarter earnings before certain items of 55 cents per share, less than the 57-cent average estimate of analysts on Reuters Estimates.

EDS said it sees 2008 revenue growth of about 2 percent, or about $22.6 billion, shy of the average analyst estimate of $22.9 billion.

Fourth-quarter net income fell to $189 million, or 36 cents per share, from $217 million, or 40 cents per share, a year earlier. EDS had costs of $154 million for an early retirement program offered to 12,000 employees last year.

Revenue rose to $5.83 billion from $5.7 billion. Analysts had expected revenue of $5.86 billion, on average.

The Plano, Texas-based company in November gave a full-year revenue forecast implying fourth-quarter projected revenue of $5.7 billion to $6.2 billion.

EDS, the largest technology services provider after International Business Machines Corp (IBM.N), in November also forecast 2007 earnings of $1.55 to $1.60 a share before items, or fourth-quarter earnings of 55 cents to 60 cents per share.

EDS shares, down 6.7 percent this year through Tuesday, fell 84 cents after the earnings report. They had closed up 1.4 percent at $19.61 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

The stock was trading at about 12 times expected 2008 earnings per share, compared with IBM’s multiple of 13.

Reporting by Philipp Gollner; Editing by Braden Reddall

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