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Electronics For Imaging plunges on downgrades, profit warning

Electronics For Imaging shares tumbled 10 3/4, or 31 percent, to a 52-week low of 24 Tuesday after it warned of a dramatic sales and earnings shortfall in its second quarter.

USB Piper Jaffray cut the network printing software and hardware firm to a "neutral" rating from a "strong buy."

Prudential Securities slashed it to an "accumulate" recommendation from a "strong buy."

Late Monday, the company said it will post a profit of between 38 cents to 40 cents a share in the quarter, well below the First Call Corp. consensus estimate of 51 cents a share.

It also sees total sales coming in around $150 million, slightly lower than the $152 million it recorded in i first quarter.

"Although the company's policy has been to not provide guidance, we decided to provide this interim update on the quarter's progress when we realized the gap that developed between analysts' expectations and the actual rate of business closing during the quarter," said CEO Guy Gecht in a prepared release. "While the flat sequential revenue this quarter is disappointing, we want to reiterate our conviction in the long-term prospects for EFI in our marketplace."

Gecht said the company expects revenue growth of 10 percent to 13 percent for the second half of the fiscal year.

Last quarter, it posted a profit of $25 million, or 44 cents a share, on sales of $152 million.

Separately, EFII said it would repurchase up to $100 million worth of its stock.

The buyback comes at a good time considering the stock has fallen from a 52-week high of 69 5/16 in March to a low of 33 last week.

All six analysts following the stock rate it a "strong buy."