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Legato Systems tumbles on 3Q miss

Legato Systems shed $2.27, or 19 percent, to $9.53 Thursday after it missed analysts' estimates in its third quarter, posting a loss of $1.1 million, or 1 cent a share, on sales of $54.2 million.

First Call Corp. consensus expected the provider of storage management software to break even in the quarter.

In the year-ago quarter, it returned a profit of $1.4 million, or 2 cents a share, on sales of $67.9 million.

"The new licensing terms introduced at the beginning of the third quarter were very successfully received," said CEO Louis Cole in a prepared release. "The result is a more rapid movement toward a recurring revenue model than we had expected."

Last quarter, Legato topped analysts'' estimates when it reported a profit of $1.1 million, or 1 cent a share, on sales of $58.3 million.

Legato shares moved up to a 52-week high of $82.50 in December before falling to a low of $8.13 in August.

Fifteen of the 18 analysts tracking the stock rate it a "hold."

Analysts are forecasting a profit of 2 cents a share in the fiscal year.