October 26, 2010
Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Business-information-technology specialist Unisys (NYSE: UIS ) saw its shares plunge a nasty 20% in early Tuesday trading after posting lower-than-expected quarterly results.
So what: After three consecutive quarters of solid growth, the decline in demand for Unisys' ClearPath servers seems to have caught investors off guard. The company's third-quarter profit fell 54% to $28.3 million, or $0.65 a share, which was well below the average analyst estimate of $0.86 a share.
Now what: Being greedy when others are fearful is often the most profitable thing to do, but now simply isn't the time to do it. While Unisys has made some decent cost-cutting strides over the past few years, a lack of differentiation and continuing top-line declines remain big concerns for shareholders. With blue-chip consulting foes such as Accenture (NYSE: ACN ) , IBM (NYSE: IBM ) , and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ ) available at reasonable prices, taking a turnaround bet on Unisys just doesn't seem worth it.
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