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Consulting firm



posted disappointing fourth-quarter results due to weakness in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and said it would restate its results lower for the first three quarters of fiscal 2003.

Following the news, the company's shares were sinking in premarket trading. According to Instinet, the stock was down $3.11, or 30%, to $7.20.

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BearingPoint, formerly KPMG Consulting, reported fourth-quarter earnings of $8.3 million, or 4 cents a share. A year ago, the company earned $404,000. Revenue rose to $774.8 million from $583.2 million.

However, the results were below the company's guidance from late April, when BearingPoint projected fourth-quarter earnings of 14 cents to 17 cents a share and revenue of $800 million to $860 million. The company attributed the shortfall to lower than expected revenue in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, which led to some operating losses within that region.

BearingPoint also plans to restate its financial results for the first three quarters of the fiscal year for certain acquisition-related and other accounting adjustments. The revision will lower first-quarter earnings by $2.5 million, or 1 cent a share. Second-quarter earnings will decline by $1.7 million, or 1 cent a share, and third-quarter earnings will fall by $6.6 million, or 3 cents a share.

"Although the company's fourth-quarter results were disappointing due primarily to weakness in the

Europe, Middle East and Africa economy and our revenue performance in that region, we are encouraged by continued positive signs of stability in certain sectors of our business including key North American industries, and our Asia Pacific and Latin American business units," the company said in a press release.