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Unisys trumps estimates on services growth

Unisys posts strong first-quarter earnings backed by healthy growth in its services business.

Unisys today posted strong first-quarter earnings backed by healthy growth in its services business.

The computer systems provider said its net income for the quarter reached $111.2 million, or 32 cents per share, compared to $62.7 million, or 14 cents in the year-ago period. That income is up 77 percent from last quarter's net income.

Analysts surveyed by First Call projected the Blue Bell, Pennsylvania-based company to earn 24 cents a share.

Unisys said revenue for the quarter rose 10 percent to $1.81 billion from $1.65 billion a year ago.

The increased revenue stemmed from substantial growth in its services business, the company said. Geographically, business remained strong in U.S. and Europe and showed improvement in the Asia-Pacific markets.

The company said it's seeing increasing demand for its services. Orders for services contracts were up substantially in the first quarter.

"While we remain cautious about technology spending in the second half of 1999 as some customers have accelerated their hardware purchases into the first half, our strong start gives us greater confidence that we can achieve our financial goals for the year," CEO Larry Weinbach, said in a statement. "Due to this shift in customer spending patterns this year, we continue to look for a higher percentage of the year's earnings in the first half of 1999 than in previous years."