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Roundup: BindView, Network Computing plunge on profit warnings

BindView Corp. (Nasdaq: BVEW) crumbled Tuesday the company said it will report a loss in its first quarter. Wall Street expected break-even results.

Shares in the supplier of information technology risk management services were down 16 3/4 to 8 13/16 . The stock had hit a new 52-week high of 45 3/4 on March 15.

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown cut its rating to "market perform" from "buy" and Merrill Lynch cut its rating on the shares to "near-term accumulate" from "buy."

BindView, whose services are aimed at networks operating on Microsoft Windows NT (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Novell NetWare (Nasdaq: NOVL) environments, said Monday it expects to post a first-quarter loss of between 2 cents and 4 cents per share, excluding charges. The company sees sales hitting about $16 million for the quarter.

First Call's consensus estimate had seen BindView breaking even for the quarter. The company posted revenue of $12.7 million in the year-ago quarter.

BindView Chief Executive Richard Gardner, in a statement, attributed the shortfall to a "general softness" in the company's international sales, which contributed about 11 percent of first quarter revenue compared to 17 percent for fiscal 1999.

The company is expected to release its first quarter results on April 19.

BindView wasn't the only stock taking a hit.

Network Computing Devices Inc. (Nasdaq: NCDI) was also suffering it issued a profit warning. Shares fell 42 percent after the company said it expects to post a larger-than-expected net loss in the first quarter, including a $3 million restructuring charge.

No estimates were available.

The stock was down 2 5/16 to 2 7/8.

NCD, which supplies information access products that extend server-based computing, said the charge includes costs associated with across-the-board, 20 percent job cuts of its 330 person workforce. The reductions were necessitated by a sharp decline in sales compared with the prior quarter.

In the year-ago period the company had posted a loss of 12 cents a share.

The company has secured a $15 million revolving line of credit, but it is also continuing to explore strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value.

Avnet Inc. (NYSE: AVT) also preannounced earnings, but the outlook was brighter. The distributor of semiconductor, interconnect, passive and electromechanical components said Tuesday third-quarter diluted earnings per share, before special charges, should exceed analysts' consensus estimates by about 10 percent.

Shares were up 1 3/4 to 63 1/16 or 3 percent.

Gains were driven in part by a recovery in the electronic components industry, as well as synergistic benefits from recent acquisitions Avnet said. Consolidated sales for the quarter exceeded $2.6 billion, representing growth of 25 percent on a sequential quarterly basis and over 50 percent on a year-over-year basis.

First Call's consensus estimate was expecting earnings to be 92 cents a share for the quarter.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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