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Hummingbird shares gain on bright outlook

Hummingbird shares moved up 12 percent Tuesday after it offered a rare ray of sunshine to technology investors, announcing that its fourth-quarter sales and earnings will come in ahead of analysts' estimates.

Company officials readily admitted they were making the announcement in response to the sluggish performance of its stock in the past few months.

Hummingbird (Nasdaq: HUMC) shares picked up $2.81, or 12 percent, to $25.81 Tuesday, just slightly above the stock's 52-week low of $20.50 set last October.

First Call Corp. consensus expects the software developer to earn 49 cents a share in its fourth quarter and $1.86 a share in the fiscal year.

"We expect to exceed both our own and the current Street revenue and earnings estimates for the fiscal year," said CEO Fred Sorkin in a prepared release. "All of the company's product lines have performed above expectations. I am particularly happy to see the substantial progress of our EIP sales."

In the third quarter, Hummingbird posted a profit of $3.8 million, or 20 cents a share, on sales of $60.1 million.

Analysts expect it to earn $2.06 a share in fiscal 2001.

"I expect fiscal 2001 to be an important year for Hummingbird," Sorkin said. "We have taken all the necessary steps to achieve our goals in the coming year. I look forward to the challenges ahead, and intend to lead Hummingbird through this exciting period."

Hummingbird shares moved up to a 52-week high of $60.44 in March.

All three analysts following the stock rate it a "buy."