American Management Systems Inc., a consulting firm specializing in systems integration and development, has restated its 1996 earnings to $15.5 million from $33.8 million.

Company officials said the move should put to rest investor worries about the effect of one of AMS' more troublesome contracts-a $50 million deal with a European telecommunications firm AMS declines to name.

The restatement is the second time in the last few months that AMS has revised its financial numbers.

In December, when the systems integration project covered under the deal hit delays, AMS scaled back yearend earnings per share estimates from 93 cents to the 81 cents that it officially reported a few weeks ago.

But a temporary suspension of the telecommunications project led the company last week to restate. Earnings per share were lowered to 37 cents. AMS officials said the new numbers communicate to investors the worst possible effect of the contract on earnings.

Rick Witschonke, vice president and manager of American Management Systems' finance industry practice, called the contract situation "incredibly frustrating."

AMS officials added the earnings adjustments are not a sign of fundamental flaws in the company's business.

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