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Keane revises 1999 earnings forecast

IT consulting firm Keane reports first-quarter earnings with steeply climbing revenue, but revised its fiscal 1999 earnings estimates.

IT consulting firm Keane today reported first-quarter earnings with steeply climbing revenue, but revised its fiscal 1999 earnings estimates.

The Boston-based company said net income for the quarter was $30.2 million, or 42 cents a share, which was inline with what analysts surveyed by First Call projected the company to earn. In the year-ago period, Keane reported net income of 22.8 million, or 32 cents a share.

For the quarter, revenue rose 24 percent to $285 million compared to $230.1 million in revenues the same period, last year, the company said.

The company also announced it was revising fiscal 1999 earnings estimates to range between $1.68 and $1.75 a share. The company was projected to earn $1.82 a share, according to analysts polled by First Call.

In a statement, the company said it lowered estimates depending on several factors, including the rate of decline within its Year 2000 business, growth in non-Y2K business, and the "general state of the economy."

Revenue from its Y2K business for the quarter was less-than-expected compared to its latest quarter. However, the company said it did see strong growth in its non-Y2K business. Non-Y2K revenue rose 32 percent to $205 million for the quarter.

"By continuously improving our Y2K methods, we are helping our clients to complete their Y2K efforts faster than we originally anticipated," CEO John F. Keane said in a statement. Keane added, "Importantly, our non-Y2K revenues are at least as profitable as our Y2K revenues."

Keane said he's confident that the company's non-Y2K revenues will continue to increase 30 to 35 percent during the year as compared to last year.

In afternoon trading, shares of Keane fell 1, down 4.85 percent, to 19.62.