Unisys warns of lower revenue, profits

Blaming "continued weakness in its federal government and financial services businesses," along with unfavourable currency exchange rates and the deferral of several large contracts until later in the year, Unisys. Thursday warned that it expects second-quarter revenue and profits to be below earlier expectations.

Unisys said revenue for the quarter now is likely to come in at about $US1.62 billion, which would be down nearly 15 percent from the same three-month period in 1999. Profits could be less than half of what Unisys reported in last year's second quarter, the company added.

Wall Street analysts had been predicting that Unisys' profits would at least stay flat with the year-earlier quarter, according to First Call/Thomson Financial.

The full second-quarter results are scheduled to be reported July 18. Unisys, in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, also cautioned that its revenue and profits for all of this year will likely suffer a "single-digit percentage decline" compared with 1999's results.

While Unisys expects revenue to start rising again in the second half of the year, the company said it's playing on a new field in terms of its business.

"Purchasing decisions are taking longer than in the past as customers finalise their strategies before initiating complex e-business implementations," said Lawrence Weinbach, Unisys' chairman and CEO, in a statement.

Many users "are testing the waters by conducting pilot implementations, which is resulting in delays in the initiation of new contracts," Weinbach added. "As a result, it is taking longer than we expected to translate out increased proposal activity into orders and revenue."

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