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Network Equipment Technologies plunges on 3Q loss

Network Equipment Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: NWK) shares plummeted 1 3/8, or 12 percent, to 10 1/8 Thursday after it fell embarrassingly short of analysts' estimates in its third quarter.

In the quarter, N.E.T. lost $20 million, or 93 cents a share, on sales of $51.2 million.

First Call consensus expected the network-equipment maker to lose 18 cents a share in the quarter.

On Thursday, Goldman Sachs said it expects the company to report a wider loss in 2000 than previously targeted.

Analyst Mary Henry now pegs the supplier of wide area networking equipment at a loss in 2000 of 83 cents a share compared with a prior loss estimate of 50 cents a share.

The $51.2 million in sales represents a 22 percent decline compared to the year-ago quarter when it lost $735,000, or 3 cents a share, on sales of $65.9 million.

"Our financial results for the quarter were clearly disappointing as the late signing of the U.S. Federal budget and Y2K-related concerns adversely impacted sales," said CEO Hubert Whyte in a prepared release. "Despite these factors, there is growing evidence that the circuit-to-packet migration is beginning to happen at a more rapid pace than we had previously expected, which raises the level of importance of focusing our resources on our future broadband strategy."

Last quarter, Network Equipment Technologies lost $400,000, or 2 cents a share, on sales of $64.8 million.

Its shares moved up to a 52-week high of 14 13/16 in December after falling to a low of 7 5/16 in April.

Two of the three analysts' following the stock maintain "hold" recommendations.