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Ardent shares slide despite solid earnings

Ardent Software Inc. (Nasdaq: ARDT) shares fell 5 5/16, or 18 percent, to 23 3/16 Tuesday, one day after it hurdled analysts' estimates in its third quarter.

On Monday, the Westboro, Mass.-based company posted a pro forma profit of $7.3 million, or 36 cents a share, on sales of $43.5 million.

First Call consensus expected Ardent to earn 35 cents a share in the quarter.

Including the amortization of purchases intangibles, Ardent earned $5.6 million, or 27 cents a share.

The $43.5 million in sales represents a 53 percent improvement compared to the year-ago quarter when it made $3.3 million, or 20 cents a share, on sales of $3.3 million.

"I am pleased to once again report another solid quarter," said CEO Peter Gyenes, in a prepared release. "We are seeing the increasingly important role of the data warehouse in e-business."

Its shares moved up to a high of 29 1/2 earlier this month after falling to a 52-week low of 12 7/8 in May.

Three of the four analysts following the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.

First Call consensus expects it to earn $1.31 a share in the fiscal year.>