Gartner Matches Estimates

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Gartner

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, an information technology research company, reported a 183% rise in fourth-quarter earnings, aided by growth in research and consulting revenue.

The company earned $14.8 million, or 13 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $5.2 million, or 5 cents a share, a year ago. Adjusted for acquisition, amortization and workforce reduction costs, earnings were 16 cents a share in the quarter. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 16 cents a share.

Fourth quarter revenue rose 13.3% from a year ago to $289.3 million. Analysts were expecting a revenue of $280 million. Excluding the effect of foreign currency and the acquisition of META, revenue growth was a more sedate 9%.

For the fiscal year 2006, the company expects revenue of about $1.02 billion to $1.06 billion. Analysts estimate 2006 revenue of $1.06 billion.

It also expects earnings of 36 cents to 40 cents a share. Excluding items, earnings are projected at 49 cents to 53 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expect the company to earn 46 cents a share for the year 2006.

"Our results for 2005 reflect focused execution on our strategy to grow and leverage our core research business," the company said. "We continue to see impressive growth in all business segments including executive programs, events and consulting."

Revenue from research segment rose 9% to $131 million in the quarter. Consulting revenue grew 27% to $85.2 million. As on Dec. 31, 2005, research contract value, an indicator of future revenue, was $593 million, up 16% from last year, the company said.

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