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Tech Industry

Unisys beats estimates, upbeat on outlook

Unisys Corp. (NYSE: UIS), an information technology services firm, handily beat Wall Street estimates with second quarter earnings of $119.7 million, or 38 cents a share, on sales of $1.89 billion. Unisys also said it was comfortable with earnings goals for the year.

For the quarter, Wall Street was expecting earnings of 33 cents, according to First Call.

``We move into the second half of 1999 confident that we can meet our earnings goals for the year,'' said CEO Larry Weinbach, in a statement. "We continue to attack opportunities in our capital structure and look forward to eliminating the remainder of our preferred stock at the beginning of August.''

For the year, Unisys is expected to report earnings of $1.45 a share.

Unisys' second quarter results were up strong from a year ago. In the same quarter a year ago, the company reported earnings of $90.1 million, or 24 cents a share, on sales of $1.73 billion. Revenue was up 9 percent year over year and 12 percent excluding currency effects.

The company reported "very substantial revenue gains" in Asia as well as strong growth in the United States and Europe. Japan revenue showed modest growth and Latin American sales declined due to currency weakness.

Services sales grew 12 percent in the quarter and its server sales gained about 3 percent. About 70 percent of its sales are services related.

The company has been boosting its bottom line by controlling expenses, boosting its profit margin nearly 2 percentage points to 12.5 percent, cutting interest expenses and eliminating preferred stock dividends.

In less than two years, Unisys has cut debt by $1.2 billion and eliminated $1.4 billion of preferred stock. "We will go forward with a fundamentally different capital structure that supports our goal to build a highly profitable $11 billion franchise by 2002," the company said.

The company ended the second quarter with $439 million in cash.