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Technology Stocks : Sykes Enterprises (SYKE)
SYKE 54.000.0%Aug 26 4:00 PM EDT

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To: Robert Scott who wrote ()1/25/2000 6:52:00 PM
From: kendall harmon  Read Replies (2) of 48
 
SYKE, overdone today and looking for a bounce tomorrow
<<Tampa, Florida, Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Sykes Enterprises Inc.
shares fell 51 percent after the operator of call centers for
computer makers and Internet service providers said it would miss
analysts' fourth-quarter earnings estimates.

The shares fell 24 1/4 to a 52-week closing low of 23 on the
Nasdaq National Market, reducing Sykes' market value by about
$1 billion, to $974 million. Tampa, Florida-based Sykes had the
biggest percentage decline of any stock in U.S. markets.

Sykes warned that it expects to report fourth-quarter profit
of 20 cents to 22 cents a share, less than the 37-cent average
forecast of analysts polled by First Call/Thomson Financial. In
the year-earlier quarter, it earned 28 cents a share. Sykes also
said it expects fourth-quarter revenue of $160 million to
$162 million, up from $142 million a year earlier.
``This is very disappointing, there is no doubt about it, and
that's why the stock has taken such a hit,' said Stephen Shook,
an analyst at Wachovia Securities. ``The stock isn't worth half of
what it was. This thing is a little overdone.'

Two other analysts cut their ratings on Sykes today. Shook
said he downgraded the stock to ``neutral' from ``strong buy'
last week because he thought the shares, which had risen
61 percent in the past year as of yesterday, wouldn't gain more.

Sykes runs 38 call centers that provide technical support for
customers of companies such as Microsoft Corp., Apple Computer
Inc. and International Business Machines Corp.

Surprised by Shortfall

Sykes blamed foreign-currency transactions, training and
development costs for new contracts, and a unit that didn't meet
expectations. The earnings shortfall would be the company's first
since it sold shares to the public in 1996.
``We're extremely disappointed in the need to recast our
numbers for the fourth quarter,' said Sykes Chairman and Chief
Executive John H. Sykes in a teleconference. ``We were surprised
at the magnitude of this situation."

The company expects to earn 40 cents a share in the first
quarter, 10 cents more than the average forecast of seven analysts
polled by First Call, as it expects to get about $10 million from
delayed contracts, said Chief Financial Officer Scott Bendert. He
said Sykes this year expects to earn as much as $1.59, or 8 cents
more than the First Call average forecast.

Fourth-quarter revenue was reduced by $4 million because of
the euro's fall against the dollar, which made currency conversion
more expensive, and another $4 million because of problems at
Sykes' SHPS Inc. unit, Shook said. SHPS runs call centers for
health-care providers, he said.

Sykes officials didn't provide more information in a
statement or answer questions about reasons for the earnings
shortfall during its teleconference. Company officials didn't
return phone calls seeking comment.

The company has 14,000 workers in the U.S., Canada, Europe,
Africa and Central America. Its 1998 revenue was $469.5 million.
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