NCI shares tumble 20 pct on 2012 outlook

NCI projects lower earnings, revenue for 2012, cites contract uncertainty; plans job cuts

Associated Press

RESTON, Va. (AP) -- Government contractor NCI Inc. said Thursday that it expects earnings and revenue in 2012 will be lower than last year, citing uncertainty over the fate of many federal contracts.

Its forecast for 2012 revenue was well below what Wall Street had been anticipating and its shares lost 20 percent in aftermarket trading.

To cope with the anticipated shortfall, the company said it will cut 60 net "indirect NCI employees and consultants" as part of a bid to slash more than $5 million in annual costs.

"As we continue to face difficult market conditions, these actions are part of our ongoing focus on improving profitability and to position NCI to operate in the current federal procurement environment," said Charles Narang, NCI's Chairman and CEO.

NCI said revenue this year will be squeezed as contracts expire, the scope of work on some contracts is reduced and work related to the military's base realignment program and other non-core business winds down, among other factors.

In addition to delayed or cancelled contracts, management also cited an unfavorable competitive environment and pricing pressures.

NCI now expects that bookings of new contract awards in 2011 will generate insufficient revenue this year to meaningfully offset the projected decline in revenue.

The company projects 2012 revenue will range from $340 million to $360 million, well below analysts' $510.6 million consensus estimate, according to FactSet.

NCI plans to disclose earnings per share estimates for 2012 next month, when it reports results from its fourth quarter.

In addition to staff cuts, the Reston-based company said it will restructure or terminate leases on five facilities.

As a result of the cost-cutting plan, NCI will book a one-time restructuring charge in the fourth quarter of 2011 of between $2.6 million and $3.1 million. On a per-share basis, the charge will amount to between 11 cents and 14 cents.

NCI provides information-technology and logistics services to the federal government, including cyber security and software development.

Shares of NCI ended regular trading down 27 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $11.46. The stock lost $2.30, or about 20 percent, to $9.16 in aftermarket trading.

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