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Midway to miss 3Q, 4Q estimates

    Don't expect Midway Games (NYSE: MWY) to post profits in the next two quarterly reports.

    After market close Thursday, the maker of game software said it expects to report a fiscal third quarter loss ranging between $8.75 million and $10.5 million, or 23 and 27 cents per share, on revenue of $50 million to $55 million. Midway also expects to lose money in the fiscal fourth quarter ending June 30.

    Prior to Thursday's announcement, First Call's survey of five analysts predicted earnings of 25 cents per share for the quarter ended Mar. 31 and 18 cents per share for the fiscal fourth quarter.

    The company blamed the disappointment on slow unit sales of console and coin-operated games, as well as lower prices for home video games.

    Industry observers have been predicting this year would be a slow period for the game software industry as consumers wait for Sony (NYSE: SNE) to release the Playstation 2 platform outside Japan. The console is expected to hit the United States this pfall.

    Midway is the third game software vendor in as many weeks to release disappointing financial news. Interplay (Nasdaq: IPLY)two weeks ago announced fourth quarter results short of analyst forecasts. Acclaim Entertainment (Nasdaq: AKLM) in mid-March warned of losses for the rest of its fiscal year.

    Final third quarter results will be announced in about three weeks, Midway said.

    Shares of Midway closed Thursday's regular trading at 14 1/4, up 3/4 for the session.>