Maxtor warning met with predictable abuse

Shares of Maxtor Corp. (Nasdaq: MXTR) plunged 13/16, or 16 percent, to a 52-week low of 4 3/8 Tuesday after the company warned that it would lose between $23 million to $33 million in its second quarter.

First Call consensus expected the disk-drive manufacturer to post a profit of 1 cent a share in the quarter.

Company officials said fierce pricing competition coupled with sluggish demand made the quarter a nightmare.

On Tuesday, Deutsche Banc Alex Brown cut the stock from a "buy" recommendation to "market perform."

The $23 million to $33 million loss includes a $22 million gain from the sale of stock acquired from the merger of a former subsidiary.

``The pricing environment has deteriorated significantly from what we saw earlier this quarter," said CEO Mike Cannon in a prepared release. Our unit shipments and revenue will also be lower than we had expected, as we take appropriate steps to cut back on production and limit our participation in the channels in which pricing declines are the most problematic."

Maxtor shares hustled up to a 52-week high of 21 1/4 in January.

Seven of the 10 analysts following the stock rate it a "hold.">