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Analyst reports: Wall Street mauls Pumatech

Wall Street punishes Pumatech shares after the maker of synchronization software for handheld computers reports revenues slightly short of expectations.

Wall Street punished Pumatech shares Tuesday after the maker of synchronization software for handheld computers reported revenues that fell slightly short of expectations.

By midday trading, shares of Pumatech had tumbled $4, or 33.16 percent, to $8.06. Earlier in the day, the company hit a 52-week low of $7.63. The stock has traded as high as $102.42 in the past year.

Pumatech reported a pro forma first-quarter net loss of $3.3 million, or 8 cents a share, compared with a loss of $72,000, or zero cents, in the year-earlier period. Analysts polled by First Call/Thomson Financial expected the company to lose 9 cents per share.

Revenues grew 55 percent to $9.9 million from $6.4 million, slightly shy of the $10 million figure expected by some analysts.

Analyst reports were mixed on the company, with at least two investment banks issuing downgrades and three reiterating "strong buy" ratings.

U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray and Wedbush Morgan cut their ratings to "buy" from "strong buy." CIBC World Markets, Frost Securities and H.C. Wainwright reiterated "strong buy" ratings.

Robertson Stephens analyst Marianne Wolk maintained a "buy" rating on the company but slightly lowered her revenue and earnings forecasts. In her report, she critiqued the company's slower growth but remained positive about its technology.

"We believe synchronization technology such as Puma's will play an important role in the proliferation of mobile devices," Wolk wrote.

Frost Securities analyst George Chandler reiterated a "strong buy" rating and 12-month price target of $48. He noted that Pumatech met earnings expectations, despite slowed sales, thanks to an increase in service revenues.

"Sales this quarter were marginally adversely affected by exposure to 'dot-coms,' weakness in the notebook segment and product rotation in the retail segment," Chandler wrote.

Despite the slowed sales, Chandler remained optimistic. "While the results were not of blow-out proportions, we believe Pumatech delivered to expectations and continues to be set for a solid sales cycle," Chandler wrote.

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