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MicroStrategy tanks on earnings report

Just when it looked like things couldn't get any worse for MicroStrategy Inc. (Nasdaq: MSTR), the customer management software maker fell another 22 percent Wednesday as analysts booed its first quarter report.

Shares were down 6 13/16 to 22 7/8, a mere fraction of the company's 333 peak. The stock was cut in half this March after it restated its results, issued a profit warning and postponed a secondary offering. The company said it would revise its results for 1998 and 1999 to conform with certain accounting practices and in April, it said it also would revise financial statements for 1997.

Prudential Volpe Tech downgraded the stock from "strong buy" to "accumulate," and BB&T Capital Markets downgraded it from "long term buy" to "hold" Thursday.

After Wednesday's closing bell, MicroStrategy reported a first quarter loss nearly 10 times that of year-ago results that were restated earlier this month.

The company said it lost $32.9 million, or 42 cents a share, in the first quarter 2000, compared with a restated loss of $3.8 million, or 5 cents a share the year before.

First-quarter revenue rose nearly 73 percent to $50.6 million, compared with a restated $29.3 million in the year-ago period.

"We are extremely encouraged by the growth of our business as reflected, not only in revenue growth rate, but in our gross deferred revenues which ended the quarter at over $106 million. With our innovative technology and worldwide sales & distribution presence, MicroStrategy is well positioned to take advantage of opportunities in the E- Business and wireless markets," said president and CEO Michael J. Saylor in a company release.

MicroStrategy competes with Business Objects (Nasdaq: BOBJ), Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) and Cognos (Nasdaq: COGN).