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Profit warning sends Carrier Access into tailspin

Carrier Access shares fell $2.88, or 32 percent, to a 52-week low of $6.13 Tuesday after the broadband access equipment maker warned that it will miss analysts’ estimates for the second consecutive quarter.

Company officials said late Friday it expects to post a loss of between 2 cents to 4 cents a share on sales of between $26 million to $27 million in its fourth quarter.

First Call Corp. consensus was expecting Carrier Access (Nasdaq: CACS) to earn 16 cents a share in the quarter.

The company announced that a large OEM customer has recently advised Carrier Access that it does not intend to take the majority of an $8 million order that was scheduled for shipment in the fourth quarter of 2000. Carrier Access had updated quarterly purchase amounts with this customer in a renewed OEM agreement executed in November 2000.

Another major customer has also informed Carrier Access that capital budget restraints will prevent them from ordering their normal quarterly equipment purchases. This customer has traditionally purchased between $3 and $7 million of Carrier Access equipment during each calendar quarter for the last five quarters.

“Obviously we are extremely surprised and disappointed by the recent developments so late in the quarter,” said CEO Roger Koenig in a prepared release. “Although the tone of our other business is good, the effects of reduced purchases by these two customers will have a significant impact on our quarterly revenue.”

Carrier Access issued a similar warning last quarter before posting a profit of $4.2 million, or 17 cents a share, on sales of $40.2 million.

Tucker Anthony Capital Markets on Thursday downgraded the stock from a “buy” recommendation to a “hold.”

The stock rallied up to a 52-week high of $71.75 in March.