Avant stumbles on downgrade, financial chief resignation

Larry Dignan

Shares of Avant Corp. (Nasdaq: AVNT) tumbled Monday after Hambrecht & Quist downgraded the stock to "market perform" from "buy" after the company's financial chief resigned.

In early trading, Avant, which makes engineering software for integrated circuits, was down 1 1/8 to 11 7/8.

The downgrade is notable because Hambrecht & Quist upgraded the stock from to "buy" from "market perform" only last week. The analyst wasn't immediately available for comment.

Early Monday, Avant said chief financial officer Peter Teshima resigned Friday "to pursue personal interests."

Sam Chang was appointed Avant's head of finance. Chang served as Avant's head of corporate planning, which focused on mergers and acquisitions. Before Avant Chang held positions at Union Bank of Switzerland, Salomon Brothers and Philip Morris.

Avant also said that once its acquisition of the Xynetix Corp. is complete, Tom Beckley, Xynetix's CEO will serve as "executive staff of finance" and will give the company financial advice. Beckley is also head of Avant's silicon packaging division.