It's not often that you see the words "profit" and Unisys
In the fiscal fourth-quarter earnings report, revenues fell 1% to $1.55 billion and profits came to $21.3 million, or $0.06 per share. This compares to a net loss of $31.1 million, or $0.09 per share in the same period a year ago. Actually, this is the first profit since the fiscal third quarter in 2004.
The services at this information technology (IT) consulting firm include systems integration, outsourcing of back-office operations (such as for claims processing for insurance), and security implementations. Unisys also develops its own server products, which are based on Intel
Unfortunately, Unisys has been feeble in dealing with its competitors, such as IBM
So, over the past year, Unisys has been in the midst of a restructuring. A big part of the effort has been to reduce costs, especially with layoffs (about 4,900 last year). Some of the other initiatives include the divesting of assets and the renegotiation of several major consulting contracts.
Unisys is also getting traction from its multi-sourcing strategy. This is where the company teams up with other IT consultants on mega deals (those over $100 million). For instance, it recently joined with Wipro in multi-sourcing alliance.
Yet some experts believe more needs to be done. "The company really should exit the server business altogether and focus on services only," says technology business research analyst Peter Zaimes. He also told me that Unisys' server business "has struggled and it does not have much differentiation."
It is certainly true that Unisys has made some good moves. Unfortunately, the problems have festered for many years, and as a result it's going to take some time for there to be real progress. In other words, for investors, a wait-and-see approach is the best.
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Fool contributor Tom Taulli does not own shares of any company mentioned in this article.
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