PeopleSupport Falls After Forecast Misses Estimates

PeopleSupport Inc., a provider of business outsourcing with services in the Philippines, fell the most in almost a year in New York trading after the company forecast 2008 earnings that trailed analysts' estimates.

The stock dropped $3.20, or 28 percent, to $8.20 at 4 p.m. in Nasdaq Stock Market composite trading, the most since March 9, 2007. The shares have fallen 40 percent this year.

PeopleSupport, based in Los Angeles, expects 2008 earnings per share of 47 cents to 58 cents on sales of as much as $170 million, according to a statement yesterday. The average estimate of four analysts in a Bloomberg survey was 76 cents. Six analysts, on average, predicted sales of $184.4 million.

``The economy is showing signs of weakness,'' Chief Financial Officer Caroline Rook said in the statement. Technology clients are among the hardest hit, she said.

For the fourth quarter, profit rose to $18.1 million, or 81 cents a share, from $3.96 million, or 18 cents, a year earlier. Profit was bolstered by a gain of $18.2 million on foreign- currency forward contracts. Sales climbed 15 percent to $35.8 million, missing the $36.4 million expected on average by nine analysts.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter J. Brennan in Los Angeles at pbrennan3@bloomberg.net; Kelly Riddell in Washington at Kriddell1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Colleen McElroy at cmcelroy@bloomberg.net

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