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EDS tops Q4 estimates

    Electronic Data Systems topped consensus analyst estimates in the fourth quarter.

    After market close Wednesday, the technology services giant reported fourth quarter net income of roughly $333 million, or 70 cents per share, excluding special charges. First Call's survey of 16 analysts predicted a profit of 68 cents per share for the EDS' quarter ended Dec. 31.

    Shares of EDS traded at $59.94 in after-hours activity on the Island ECN, following the earnings report. EDS fell $1.65 to $56.90 in Wednesday's regular trading ahead of the release of fourth quarter relase..

    Including all charges, EDS earned $321.4 million, or 68 cents per share in the fourth quarter.

    Fourth quarter revenue increased 5.6 percent year-over-year to $5.2 billion. First Call consensus predicted revenue of $5.06 billion.

    Revenue excluding business from General Motors (NYSE: GM) increased 9 percent year-over-year.

    Operating margin increased to 10.5 percent from 9.6 percent in the third quarter.

    "EDS ends 2000 with one of the strongest quarters in our history," said Dick Brown, chairman and CEO. "Our robust, balanced performance demonstrates EDS' ability to anticipate and capitalize on changes in the rapidly evolving digital economy."

    The company in the fourth quarter won contracts worth a total of $15.8 billion, up 41 percent from the comparable period a year ago. Contract signings rose 33 percent in the United States, 141 percent in Europe and 295 percent in the Asia Pacific region.

    For the full 2000, EDS earned $2.29 per share on revenue of $19.2 billion.>