) to strong buy from market perform.
Analyst John Mahoney says Sykes exceeded expectations and its own guidance for the second quarter in a row. He says first-quarter revenue of $121.4 million was essentially flat vs. last year but still above his $118 million forecast and $115 million to $120 million guidance.
He notes Sykes is now reaping the benefits of its investments in low-cost offshore facilities. He notes the transition from rural contact center focus to offshore has not been smooth, but necessary.
Mahoney raises his 4 cents second-quarter earnings per share estimate to 6 cents, his 18 cents 2005 earnings per share estimate to 28 cents, and sets a 32 cents 2006 earnings per share estimate. He has a $9 price target on the stock.