Shares of Equifax Inc. fell 22% Wednesday, to $34.375, after the Atlanta-based company said fourth-quarter earnings will be significantly below Wall Street's expectations.

Projected revenues from European sales of the company's consumer credit reports will fall short of management's predictions for the fourth quarter, said the company in a statement.

Equifax said earnings in the fourth quarter would be 31 cents a share, 10 cents lower than the Wall Street consensus estimate, according to First Call.

European management "incorrectly projected that revenues associated with some long-term marketing contracts would fall in the fourth quarter as opposed to recognizing revenue over the life of the contract," said Martie Zakus, corporate vice president.

Thomas F. Chapman, Equifax's president and chief executive officer, said the company has "moved swiftly to make the appropriate management and process changes."

Equifax's European operations represent 14.5% of the company's revenues, which were $425.4 million in the quarter that ended Sept. 30. Through the first nine months of 1998, Equifax's revenues were $1.17 billion.


Shares of Pegasystems Inc. fell 4% last week, to $4.3125, after the Cambridge, Mass.-based company issued a profit alert for the fourth quarter.

Fourth-quarter revenues will be "significantly below" analyst expectations of $33 million to $35 million, Pegasystems said.

It would be the second underperforming quarter in a row for the company, which sells customer relationship management software to banks.

On Oct. 30 the shares fell 35%, to $10.5625, when the company reported disappointing third-quarter earnings because of delayed customer orders. Pegasystems still is conducting a review of its third-quarter earnings, which could result in material adjustments to its reported $26.7 million.

This would not be the first time Pegasystems has restated earnings. The company restated third-quarter earnings in 1997 after its accountant, Ernst & Young, refused to certify the results.

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