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Marimba misses reduced estimates in third quarter

Marimba missed analysts' reduced estimates in its third quarter Monday, posting a loss of $3.6 million, or 15 cents a share, on sales of $10.1 million.

First Call Corp. consensus expected the software developer to lose 14 cents a share in the quarter.

Marimba (Nasdaq: MRBA) shares added 38 cents to $6.13 ahead of the earnings report.

The $10.1 million in sales marks a 21 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it lost $164,000, or 1 cent a share, on sales of $8.3 million.

Earlier this month, Marimba shares plunged to a 52-week low of $4.25 after warning that it would miss analysts' sales and earnings estimates this quarter.

At the time, Marimba said it would post sales of between $10 million to $10.2 million and a loss of between 13 cents to 17 cents a share in the quarter.

First Call Corp. consensus was looking for a profit of 4 cents a share in the quarter.

It posted a net loss was $4.2 million, or a diluted net loss of 18 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $580,000 or a diluted net loss of 3 cents a share during the same period in 1999.

"As we stated previously, our third-quarter 2000 results were impacted by several anticipated sales transactions that were not completed by quarter-end, as well as a need to expand the reach of our sales force," said CEO John Olsen in a prepared release. "While our near-term outlook is cautious, we remain confident of Marimba's long-term business strategy."

Analysts expect Marimba to lose 14 cents a share in the fiscal year.

Five of the seven analysts tracking the stock rate it a "hold."