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Great Plains tops reduced 4Q estimates

Great Plains Software beat analysts' reduced estimates by a couple cents a share Tuesday, earning $1.6 million, or 9 cents a share, on sales of $59.6 million.

Ahead of the earning report, Great Plains (Nasdaq: GPSI) shares closed off 5/8 to 19 13/16.

First Call Corp. consensus predicted it would earn 7 cents a share in the quarter.

Earlier this quarter, Great Plains warned that sluggish sales would result in lower-than-expected sales and earnings.

At the time, company officials said it would earn between 5 cents to 10 cents a share.

The $59.6 million in sales marks a 48 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it earned $4.6 million, or 29 cents a share, on sales of $40.1 million.

For the year, it earned $13.3 million, or 80 cents a share, on sales of $195 million.

Its shares moved up to a 52-week high of 83 1/2 in January before falling to a low of 19 earlier this month.

Four of the five analysts following the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.

First Call Corp. consensus expects Great Plains to earn $1.48 a share in fiscal 2001.