CSG Systems

(CSGS) - Get Report

was tumbling in the premarket session after lowering its earnings outlook for the remainder of 2002 and having its shares downgraded by at least two brokerages.

The billing-systems provider also said second-quarter earnings fell to $19.2 million, or 36 cents a share, from $28.5 million, or 52 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding a charge, the company earned $21.3 million, or 40 cents a share, in the latest quarter, 1 cent shy of estimates. Revenue was $169.7 million in the quarter, up from $120.8 million.

The company also said it expects 2002 earnings, excluding items, of $1.44 to $1.57 a share on revenue $610 million to $630 million. That's down from previous expectations of $1.90 to $2.05 a share on revenue of $660 million to $690 million as well as the analyst earnings consensus of $1.85 a share. CSG will also cut 300 to 350 employees from its workforce and take other cost-cutting steps.

Subsequent to the release, Salomon lowered its rating on the stock to neutral from outperform while CSFB downgraded it to buy from strong buy. The shares were down 21% to $12.50 on Instinet.