AVT says 2Q sales, earnings will miss estimates

AVT Corp. gave its investors some bad news Wednesday, warning that its second-quarter sales and earnings will fall short of analysts' estimates.

AVT (Nasdaq: AVTC), which makes business-to-business communications tools, said it now expects to earn between 5 cents to 9 cents a share in the quarter.

First Call Corp. consensus pegged it for a profit of 11 cents a share.

"We are clearly disappointed that our business has not returned to the levels we had expected for the second quarter," said CEO Richard LaPorte in a prepared release.

He also cited a slowdown in the business telephone equipment industry and sales force attrition.

AVT now expects sales to fall somewhere between $24 million and $27 million, well below the $31.9 million it recorded in the year-ago quarter.

LaPorte also warned shareholders that near-term financial results could continue to disappoint.

"Given the uncertainties influencing our company and our industry, it is prudent for us to caution our shareholders that our financial results may continue to be adversely affected in the near term," he said.

Its shares closed off 29/32 to 7 ahead of the profit warning.

After moving up to a 52-week high of 36 1/8 in March, AVT shares fell to a low of 6 3/8 last week.

All seven analysts following the stock rate it a "buy." >