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Aspen Tech sees wider-than-expected loss

Aspen Technology expects to report third-quarter results far below analysts' estimates.

After market close Wednesday, the business software vendor said it forecasts a fiscal third-quarter loss of 10 cents to 12 cents per share, on revenue of $75 million to $77 million. First Call consensus predicted a profit of 12 cents per share on revenue of $86.9 million for Aspen's third quarter ended March 31.

Shares of Aspen )Nasdaq: AZPN) traded at $16.94 in after-hours activity on the Island ECN, immediately following the news. Aspen rose 31 cents to $19 in Wednesday's regular trading ahead of the report.

Several vendors of software for corporations have said their customers are delaying technology purchases. Aspen is no exception.

"We were impacted at the very end of March by deferred decision making, especially where customers had indicated that they planned large commitments to our solutions," said Larry Evans, Aspen CEO and chairman.

Deals that failed to close included contracts worth more than $1 million, Evans said.

Corporations typically don't sign large software contracts until the last few weeks of a fiscal quarter.

Third-quarter license revenue ranged between $33 million and $35 million, Aspen said. Services revenue will be $42 million to $43 million.