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Perot Systems posts profit

Perot Systems shares rose 1.9 percent to $9.88 Tuesday after the computer services and business consulting company said its fourth-quarter profit nearly tripled. The company posted fourth-quarter earnings of 17 cents per share, up from 6 cents in the year-ago quarter. Revenue for the fourth quarter rose 6 percent year over year to $330 million. Perot Systems said it expected earnings for the first quarter of 2003 to range from 15 cents to 17 cents per share, prior to the effect of a change in accounting.

Perot Systems shares outperformed the broader markets, which seemed spooked by word of a tape in which Osama bin Laden apparently speaks of a partnership with Iraq. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 6.76 points, or 0.81 percent, to 829.21, and CNET's tech index lost 2.61 points, or 0.28 percent, to 922.51.