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SAIC Shares Fall on Scaled-Back Views

(SAIC item updated for closing stock prices and to correct a misreported figure. Analysts were looking for per-share earnings of 32 cents in the quarter, not 31 cents.)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of SAIC (SAI), a government contractor that provides advanced cyber-defense services, tumbled 6% Wednesday afternoon in heavy trading after the company scaled back financial expectations for the coming year.

SAIC blamed the weaker outlook on delayed decisions by the government on certain of its bids for big contracts.

After Tuesday's closing bell, SAIC, based in Washington, said that both its top and bottom lines would grow at a slower rate than it had previously believed. Revenue, the company said, will likely grow between 3% and 6%, compared with earlier forecasts of 6% to 9%. Profit expectations went from a projected 2011 growth rate of 8% to 14% from a previous range of 11% to 18%.

At least one investor thought annual growth of 20% for each of the next three years wasn't out of the question.

Also Tuesday, SAIC reported fiscal fourth-quarter results that came in just shy of Wall Street expectations. The company posted earnings of $123 million, or 31 cents a share; analysts according to Thomson Reuters were looking for 32 cents. The results were nearly flat with a year ago, when SAIC earned $120 million, or 29 cents a share.

Revenue in the quarter amounted to $2.68 billion, up 7% from the same quarter last year, but worse than the average analyst estimate of $2.79 billion.

Shares of SAIC ended trading Wednesday at $17.70, down $1.28, or 6.7%. Volume reached nearly 15.5 million shares, almost five times the daily average turnover in the name.

-- Written by Scott Eden in New York

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Scott Eden has covered business -- both large and small -- for more than a decade. Prior to joining, he worked as a features reporter for Dealmaker and Trader Monthly magazines. Before that, he wrote for the Chicago Reader, that city's weekly paper. Early in his career, he was a staff reporter at the Dow Jones News Service. His reporting has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Men's Journal, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, and the Believer magazine, among other publications. He's also the author of Touchdown Jesus (Simon & Schuster, 2005), a nonfiction book about Notre Dame football fans and the business and politics of big-time college sports. He has degrees from Notre Dame and Washington University in St. Louis.

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