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eXcelon tumbles following 4Q warning

eXcelon shares plummeted $1.38, or 51 percent, to $1.44 Wednesday, one day after the software developer warned that it will post a wider-than-expected loss in its fourth quarter.

eXcelon (Nasdaq: EXLN) officials blamed poor sales to telecom and dot-com customers for the shortfall.

It now expects to post a loss of between 23 cents to 26 cents a share on sales of between $14.5 million to $15.5 million.

First Call Corp. consensus expected it to lose only 4 cents a share in the quarter.

eXcelon's fourth-quarter database management revenues will be $5.8 million, rather than $7.5 million, and B2B revenue will be halved to $2.6 million from the expected $5.2 million.

In addition, deals with, department stores and grocery chains shrank or languished while sales to financial services and insurance companies remain in the pipeline.

As a result of the fourth-quarter adjustment, eXcelon's fiscal 2000 sales will be in the range of $69 million to $71 million, about 8 percent lower than previously expected. The company's fiscal 2000 loss also is expected to be between 35 cents and 38 cents a diluted share. Wall Street analysts polled by First Call had forecast a loss of 17 cents per share.

A plan to sell the database business recently fell through and the company is moving forward with plans to split its B2B and database operations into different companies, said Goldman, whose long-term outlook remains positive.

eXcelon, formerly known as Object Design Inc., is slated to report fourth-quarter results on Feb. 15. >