Unisys gets boost from TSA

Unisys was the fastest-rising company on the FCW Tech Index for the two-week period from Jan. 17 to Jan. 31.

The company’s shares grew 8.25 percent to $6.69 from $6.18. The extension of a key government contract helped make Unisys the biggest gainer, according to analysts.

columnist top Perhaps most important to the company's financial health was a bridge contract awarded by the Transportation Security Administration that lets the company continue work under the Information Technology Managed Services contract, which was set to expire Jan. 10. The bridge contract is valued at as much as $750 million.

“Unisys has gained some momentum in recent weeks, in our opinion, posting important contract wins, including a renewal from the Transportation Security Administration,” wrote Dylan Cathers, a Standard & Poor’s analyst, in a Jan. 23 research note.

Jason Kupferberg, an IT services analyst with UBS Investment Research, also cited the TSA pact as a factor in Unisys’ January uptick. He said overbilling allegations, which surfaced in October 2005, had generated a fair amount of concern in the marketplace regarding the future of Unisys’ TSA contract.

The renewal, however, eased those worries, he said.

Other events boosting Unisys’ stock included the successful renegotiation of an underperforming commercial contract in the United Kingdom and the naming of a new chairman, according to Kupferberg.

Unisys on Jan. 24 appointed Henry “Ric” Duques as chairman. Kupferberg said Duques is widely respected in the industry and has a reputation for being a decisive leader.

Duques replaces Lawrence Weinbach, who retired Jan. 31.

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