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ION Networks warns of more pain ahead

ION Networks, fresh off its dismal performance in the fourth quarter, told investors late Wednesday that it will miss analysts' sales and earnings estimates in its first quarter.

Ahead of the profit warning, ION Networks (Nasdaq: IONN) closed unchanged at 4 3/16.

Company officials now say it will post sales of around $2 million in the quarter, down from $4.9 million in the year-ago quarter.

"While we are still in the process of finalizing our revenues for the first quarter, our preliminary review shows that our revenues will be significantly lower than anticipated," said CEO Stephen Gray in a prepared release.

"Contributing to the sluggish performance in the first quarter were decisions by many of our larger customers to delay purchases, a shift in the release date for our new PRIISMS Manager from June to an expected second quarter release, and a longer than expected ramp up period for our new sales personnel that have recently joined the company," he added.

ION Networks, which makes a variety of Internet security software and hardware, also announced that it would restructure its worldwide sales team with Gray serving as the interim leader.

Last quarter, ION Networks disappointed investors when it posted a loss of $2.7 million, or 19 cents a share, on sales of $5.7 million.

Analysts had expected a loss of only 6 cents a share.

There is no First Call Corp. consensus estimate for ION Networks this quarter.

Its shares moved up to a 52-week high of 44 in March after falling to a low of 3 3/4 last June.