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Aspect Communications sees 2Q disappointment

Aspect Communications (Nasdaq: ASPT) sees lower-than-expected second quarter results.

After market close Monday, the provider of Web technology for managing customer relationships said it expects to report second quarter earnings ranging between 1 and 3 cents per share, excluding goodwill writedowns but including gains from stock sales. First Call's survey of five analysts predicted a profit of 8 cents per share for the quarter ended June 30.

Excluding profits from the sale of stock, Aspect lost between 3 and 5 cents per share.

Shares of Aspect fell in afterhours activity immediately following the profit warning. Soon after the close of regular trading, Aspect slid to 37 on the Island electronic communications network. The stock closed Monday's regular trading at 43 7/8, up 5/8 for the session.

Revenue in the second quarter ranged between $137 million and $139 million, the company said. Services revenue ranged between $64 million and $65 million, CEO Beatriz V. Infante said, during an afternoon conference call with analysts.

Aspect sees third quarter revenue ranging between $139 million and $143 million, with 60 to 65 percent growth year-over-year in license revenue. The company sees fourth quarter sales between $153 million and $163 million in the fourth quarter, with license revenue increasing 55 to 60 percent from the year-earlier period.

Services should growth 1 to 3 percent sequentially

Company executives blamed second quarter shortfall on lower-than-anticipated business in the central region of North America, a delay in multi-million contract awards from the federal government and unexpectedly steep declines in sales of hardware products. Market demand remains "healthy", the company said.

Aspect's second quarter results "are not acceptable and we are doing our best to remedy them in the future," Infante said during the conference call.

The company has replaced the head of sales for the "severely" underperforming North American region, Infante said. Aspect is one of a few vendors vying for the federal government contracts, and hopes to win them in the second half of the year.

Because of the regional sales issues, Aspect will reach its overall growth target one to quarters later than originally planned, Infante said.>