Some lessons KPMG Consulting has learned:

Diversify

KPMG's public-service group is expected to help offset near-term softness in some of its other practices--especially the technology group.

Be Picky

Choose your allies carefully: Marketing partners Cisco Systems and Oracle are sound, but KPMG's $63.3 million investment in Qwest Cyber Solutions was a total loss.

Don't Wait

Ax personnel quickly. Two recent rounds of layoffs signaled to Wall Street that KPMG values the opinion of the public markets.

Time It Right

Because KPMG went public in a sour economy, its shares are hovering below the $18 IPO price, employee stock options are under water, and near-term growth will be slow.

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