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ServiceWare Technologies rocked by 4Q warning

ServiceWare Technologies plunged $1.88, or 54 percent, to a 52-week low of $1.56 Wednesday, one day after warning that it will post a wider-than-expected loss in its fourth quarter.

The Internet software developer said it expects to post sales of $6.2 million in the quarter, down from the $8.4 million it recorded in the third quarter.

It now expects to post a loss of between 27 cents to 29 cents a share in the quarter, well above the First Call Corp. consensus estimate of 10 cents a share.

For the fiscal year, it expects to post sales of $29.2 million, up from $17.7 million in fiscal 1999.

Company officials blamed the shoddy quarter on delays in closing several sales and the restructuring of several key distribution partners.

“The uncertain economic environment caused several customers to extend evaluations or postpone their purchase decisions in the fourth quarter,” said CEO Mark Tapling in a prepared release. “While disappointed that the results were below our expectations, ServiceWare continues to deliver solutions that enable our customers to provide industry-leading eService solutions.”

Last quarter, ServiceWare posted a loss of $2.2 million, or 11 cents a share, on sales of $8.4 million.

The stock moved up to an all-time high of $10.50 in September.

All three analysts following the stock maintain a “strong buy” recommendation.

Analysts were forecasting a loss of 12 cents a share in fiscal 2001.