ICT Shares Plunge on Slashed Outlook

By @ibtimes on

Shares in ICT Group Inc., dropped sharply on Friday after the company lowered its profit expectations for first quarter and the full-year 2007.

Shares in Newtown, Pa.-based management and business process outsourcer fell $6.95, or 28.4 percent, to $17.50 in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Thursday evening, ICT said it anticipated to gain first quarter 2007 revenue of $115 million and diluted earnings per share between 2 cents and 4 cents. The company's previous outlook range had been $116 to $118 million in revenue and diluted earnings per share of 20 to 23 cents.

The company says earnings for full year 2007 will exceed $500 million, a figure on track with its previous estimate when reporting its fourth quarter earnings. However the firm said its earnings per share target range now was $1.00 to $1.10, compared to its previous range of $1.43 to $1.50.

The firm said work with two clients exceeded initial projections.

As a result, ICT Group incurred significantly higher training and staffing costs as well as certain penalties that reduced revenue, all of which impacted profitability for the period, said Chief Executive John J. Brennan in a statement.

He said his firm was disappointed by the earnings shortfal in the quarter but was encouraged by demand in its services.

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