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Keane Guides Lower

It sees a soft fourth quarter.

Keane (KEA) posted a drop in third-quarter profit and said its fourth quarter will fall short of Wall Street estimates.

The scandal-racked Boston information technology consultant made $8.4 million, or 13 cents a share, for the quarter ended Sept. 30, down from the year-ago $8.9 million, or 14 cents a share. Revenue fell 3.2% from a year ago to $232 million.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for a 17-cent profit on sales of $231 million.

The company said that by its favored cash earnings per share measure, the latest quarter profit fell to 18 cents a share from 19 cents a year ago, with the year-ago quarter aided by a 6-cent tax benefit.

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Keane expects to make 10 to 12 cents a share for the fourth quarter on sales of $230 million to $235 million. Cash earnings per share will be 14 to 16 cents. Analysts were looking for 20 cents on $235.6 million.

Keane said earlier this month that Richard Garnick, president of North American services and global business lines, was dismissed for reasons related to compliance with the company's policy on travel expenses. The firing also related to "unauthorized communications inconsistent with the company's interests," Keane said.

Garnick was the second Keane executive of late to leave under allegations of wrongdoing. In May, CEO Brian Keane resigned after the company learned of employee allegations related to his personal conduct. He has denied any unlawful behavior.