Atos issues profit warning, shares slide by as much as 15%

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Atos, issued a profit warning on Monday, marking the second time in seven months the company has had to do so. Shares predictably plummeted to their lowest level since mid-2012.

The company’s latest profit warning arrived just several days after the new CEO Rodolphe Belmer, appointed in October, officially took over.

In early trading sessions, Atos shares went down by 15%. The company said that its financial objectives stated in July could not be met, attributing the outcome to both delays on deals with customers and lower margins at its hardware and software resales division.

Belmer’s reassurances

Belmer reminded everyone that he joined the company last week in an official capacity, at a time when the numbers were being collected and compiled. He said that an assessment of the current financial state led the company to be obligated to issue a profit warning, given the significant variance in key performance indicators.

The newly-minted CEO also added that most of the items underlying the severe gap are not recurring, saying he is convinced that the company has the talent and assets needed to turn things around.

A slippery slope

The former CEO, Elie Girard, saw his tenure marred by accounting errors and a profit warning in July last year. The company’s fall saw it leave the blue-chip CAC 40 equity index, leading to speculation about a potential takeover or the introduction of activist investors.

Atos said it expects a 2.4% decline in 2021’sfull year revenues, coming in at 10.8 billion euros ($12.24 billion), well below previous forecasts that said sales would be stable. The company saw its shares slump by about 50% in 2021. It plans to release the 2022 objectives late next month (Feb, 28).