AnswerThink Results Fall Short, Cuts 150 Staff

Miami-based Internet consulting firm AnswerThink Inc., said Tuesday it expects its fourth quarter earnings to fall short of analysts’ expectations and as a result will lay off approximately 150 employees, or more than 8 percent of its workforce.

The said earnings for the quarter ending Dec. 31 will be between $68 million to $70 million, down from projections of $86 million. Net income for the quarter expected to be between break-even to $1 million, before goodwill amortization, stock-based compensation and nonrecurring items are taken into account.

Answerthink chief executive Ted A. Fernandez also said the company is moving to cut its dependence on revenue from business services it provides to dot.com companies.

He said, “While dot-coms have historically represented less than 15 percent of our business, the diminished demand for these type of projects impacted our fourth quarter results.”

As a result, the company’s management “felt that it was important to quickly deal with our exposure related to these dot-com projects,” he added.

To that end Fernandez said, in a prepared release, that the company “will decrease the number of billable resources dedicated to such initiatives by about 150.” Those resources, in the instance, mean staff.

Full year pro-forma net income in 2001 is expected to be between $23 million and $25 million, or 49 cents to 51 cents per diluted share, the company said. Revenues in 2001 are expected to hit between $320 million and $325 million.

First Call/Thomson Financial, which tracks analysts forecasts, had estimated AnswerThink’s profits would be 18 cents per share for the fourth quarter and 88 cents per share for 2001, excluding goodwill.

Shares of ANSR closed down 44 cents to $4 on Tuesday on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, down from a 52-week high of $40.

William Plasencia is managing editor of miami.internet.com.

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