Analyst Stephen Murphy says technology services provider's fourth quarter earnings per share were in line, but revenues were 5% light as a delay in the passage of the Federal budget postponed a number of program starts. He says this is likely to persist into the first quarter. Murphy cut the 90 cents 2003 earnings per share estimate to 86 cents, and sees $1.10 for 2004. He thinks the fourth quarter miss is related to budget timing, and that the program spending will come through.
He notes that implications seem not so severe for other federal IT players in his coverage, including Veridian, Dynamics Research, and Titan, as they do 75% or more defense and intelligence work. He maintains his sector perform rating on PEC.