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New Era of Networks warns for 4Q

New Era of Networks warned late Friday that it will miss analysts’ sales estimates by $18 million and post a huge loss in its fourth quarter.

New Era of Network (Nasdaq: NEON) shares closed off 94 cents to $5.50 ahead of the warning.

Company officials now expect total sales of only $40 million in the quarter $188 million in the fiscal year, well below the $58 million and $208 million, respectively, expected by analysts.

It now expects to post a loss of 35 cents a share in the quarter, including a 10-cent-a-share charge to erase bad debts from delinquent customers.

First Call Corp. consensus expected the Internet software provider to earn 11 cents a share in the quarter.

New Era will also take an unspecified restructuring charge in the quarter.

”As is typical in software companies, we usually have a large percentage of our software licensing contracts closing near the end of the quarter,” said CEO Rick Adam in a prepared release. “At the end of the fourth quarter we had an unusually high number of customers and prospects postpone or defer their purchasing decision. Our results are disappointing and below our expectations.”

Last quarter, New Era posted a profit of 8 cents a share on sales of $55 million.

The stock moved as high as $96.25 in March before falling to a low of $4.13 in December.

Four of the eight analysts tracking the stock rate it a “buy.”