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Vitria cuts 4Q targets

    Vitria Technology (Nasdaq: VITR) sees lower-than-expected fourth quarter results.

    After market close Wednesday, the business software vendor forecast a fourth quarter loss of 1 to 3 cents per share, excluding special charges, on revenue of $39 million to $41 million. Analyst consensus predicted a profit of a penny per share, on revenue of $47.4 million, according to earnings tracking firm First Call.

    Shares of slid to 5.25 in afterhours activity on the Island electronic communications network, immediately following the news. Vitria rose 1.6875 to 8 in Wednesday's regular trading ahead of the preannouncement.

    Company executives blamed the fourth quarter shortfall on softer demand in the telecom industry, which provides much of Vitria's business.

    "An unexpectedly high number of our customers and prospects postponed or cancelled their purchasing decision in the last few days of the quarter," said JoMei Chang, president and CEO.

    Vitria is the latest in a string of communications suppliers to preannounce disappointing results. Many analysts in recent months have warned of a slowdown in telecom companies' spending.

    The company anticipates fourth quarter deferred revenue of $45 million, compared to $56 million in the third quarter.>