EDS shrinks quarterly loss

Electronic Data Systems has posted a significantly smaller net loss in the first quarter, ending 31 March, compared with last year's first quarter.

The company, which has been struggling with sagging sales, problematic contracts and a US Securities and Exchange Commission investigation, reported a net loss of $12m, compared with a net loss of $1.4bn for the same quarter the previous year.

Revenue came in at $5.43bn, up 4% from $5.22bn in last year's first quarter.

Excluding the company's UGS PLM Solutions software unit, which was sold during the first quarter, revenue was $5.2bn, also up 4% compared with last year's first quarter.

EDS signed $4bn in contracts, compared with $3bn in last year's first quarter.

The company did well winning contracts valued at less than $250m, and from the financial services, government and communications industry sectors. The company highlighted a sequential increase of 32%  for its business process outsourcing (BPO) contracts.

Chairman and chief executive officer Michael Jordan, said EDS finds itself much stronger financially, enjoys a stronger competitive position and has problem contracts under control.

EDS is on track to end 2004 with zero net debt and more than $5bn in liquidity, including nearly $4bn in unrestricted cash and marketable securities. Restructuring and cost-cutting measures are expected to generate savings of about $1bn in 2004.

Looking ahead to the second quarter, EDS expects to generate between $5.1bn and $5.2bn in revenues. For the full year, EDS expects revenue of between $20bn and $21bn.

Juan Carlos Perez writes for IDG News Service


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