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eOn Communications misses 4Q targets

eOn Communications missed analysts' estimates in its fourth quarter Thursday, posting a loss of $1.4 million, or 11 cents a share, on sales of $10.7 million.

First Call Corp. consensus expected the maker of Linux communications servers and software to lose 10 cents a share in the quarter.

eOn Communications (Nasdaq: EONC) shares closed up 7/16, or 11 percent, to 4 3/8 ahead of the earnings report.

The $10.7 million in sales marks a 42 percent decline from the year-ago quarter when it earned $1.3 million, or 15 cents a share, on sales of $15.2 million.

"Our fourth quarter financial results reflect reduced demand for our Millennium digital switching platform and longer than anticipated sales cycles for our Linux-based eQueue and eNterprise communications systems," said CEO David Lee in a prepared release. "The Millennium competes primarily in the PBX marketplace, which has declined faster than we anticipated."

For the fiscal year, it lost $3 million, or 30 cents a share, on sales of $50.4 million compared to a profit of $2.1 million, or 33 cents a share, on sales of $42.4 million in fiscal 1999.

eOn shares moved up to an all-time high of 31 1/8 shortly after its initial public offering in February. The stock slumped to a low of 3 in May.

Company officials said Thursday it plans to buyback up to 1 million shares of common stock this year.

First Call Corp. consensus expects eOn to post a profit of 7 cents a share in fiscal 2001.

Two of the three analysts following the stock rate it a "buy."