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Avant! hits 3Q targets

Software developer Avant! met analysts' estimates in its third quarter Friday, earning $18.5 million, or 45 cents a share, on sales of $90.5 million.

First Call Corp. consensus expected it to earn 45 cents a share in the quarter.

Ahead of the earnings report, Avant! (Nasdaq: AVNT) shares closed unchanged at $17.

The $90.5 million in sales marks a 20 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it earned $14.8 million, or 22 cents a share, on sales of $75.5 million.

"As we progress through the 21st century, we will continue to provide our customers with innovative technology, superior products, and excellent service," said CEO Gerald Hsu in a prepared release. "Our ability to continually deliver the solutions that our customers require will keep Avant! successful through the booming electronics age."

The stock peaked at $20.63 in January before falling to a low of $8.88 in April.

Two of the four analysts' tracking the stock rate it a "hold."

Analysts expect Avant! to earn $1.77 a share in the fiscal year.