Well, computer services company Electronic Data Systems (NYSE:EDS) finally got its i's dotted and t's crossed, and all the decimals in the right places, and released its oft-delayed earnings report on Monday. As you'll see if you click through that link, the earnings report itself leaves a lot to be desired. For one thing, it lacks a cash flow statement (no surprise there). For another, it lacks a balance sheet and income statement!

The good news is that the company has had plenty of time to re-work its 2003 earnings numbers (at its auditors' behest) and get everything together in order to file its 10-Q simultaneously with its earnings release. And so it did. So let's head straight over to the filing and see what all the fuss is about.

From a straight GAAP perspective, EDS's third-quarter numbers are an absolute mess -- which, after the multiple delays in filing and publishing its earnings release, should surprise no one. In comparison to Q3 2003, EDS's revenues slumped by 1%, while losses per share increased tenfold to reach $0.30. On the other hand, year to date, EDS isn't looking quite as bad. Revenues actually increased a modest 2% over the first nine months of 2003, and earnings for the period were positive by a full $0.21 per share, vs. last year's $2.79 loss.

What's more, long-term debt is down slightly since the beginning of the year, while the company has added $2.2 billion worth of cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities to its cash pile, amassing a total of $4.5 billion in cash -- enough to pay off its entire long-term debt and pension liabilities at will. With cash generation like that, you might expect EDS to be free-cash-flow positive -- and you'd be right. Over the past nine months EDS has generated $275 million in cash, a nice change from last year, when the first nine months saw a net-cash outflow of more than $100 million.

Put it all together and it seems clear that EDS is not the basket case that so many feel it to be. But it's still not necessarily a "buy." Taking the company's own predictions for fiscal 2004 FCF generation and comparing them to its market cap, balance sheet, and consensus analyst expectations for its long-term growth rate, EDS scores an EV/FCF/growth ratio of 4.2, which is expensive in comparison to competitors such as Accenture (NYSE:ACN) at 0.9, Computer Sciences (NYSE:CSC) at 1.1, or IBM (NYSE:IBM) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), both at 1.4. Simply put, EDS may not be as bad off as it looks, but neither is it as cheap as an investor might wish.

For more on EDS's troubles, read:

Fool contributor Rich Smith owns no interest in any of the companies mentioned in this article.