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What: The network is down for shareholders of information technology company Unisys
So what: Unisys blamed the federal budget impasse as one of the reasons it fell significantly short of Wall Street's estimates last night. The company reported a $0.95 quarterly loss including charges related to early debt retirement. Backing out these charges, the company lost $0.27, which compares to expectations from analysts of a loss of $0.10. Revenue beat the median estimate slightly at $911 million versus the $908.2 million consensus.
Now what: This will easily be a quarter to forget for Unisys shareholders. Many of the company's business segments were under pressure as overall gross profit margins declined 130 basis points.
More disconcerting is just how big of a charge was taken in order to extinguish some very high-interest rate notes. Trust me, shareholders should be glad this debt is retired, but rather than using cash flow from operations, the company simply issued nearly 2.6 million preferred shares to pay for it. Looking only at its forward P/E ratio, the company is cheap enough to have potential, but a closer look at its balance sheet reveals some major flaws. Consensus estimates are falling fast, and I just assume I'll keep my distance from Unisys for the time being.
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