Pumatech's 4Q loss smaller than expected

Software developer Pumatech posted a smaller-than-expected loss in its fourth quarter Thursday, dropping $3.6 million, or 8 cents a share, on sales of $9 million.

First Call Corp. consensus expected Pumatech to lose 11 cents a share in the quarter.

Ahead of the earnings report, Pumatech (Nasdaq: PUMA) shares closed up 2 7/8 to 23 7/16.

The $9 million in sales represents a 52 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it earned $160,000, or 1 cent a share, on sales of $5.9 million.

"The fourth quarter of fiscal 2000 was very active for Pumatech, highlighted by the successful introduction of our Browse-it and Mind-it products," said CEO Brad Rowe in a prepared release. "Our primary focus for fiscal 2001 is to continue building on our momentum and accelerate MAP deployment on a more global basis, increasing our presence in the Asian and European marketplaces where we see big opportunities in mobile and wireless."

For the fiscal year, Pumatech lost $7 million, or 20 cents a share, on sales of $30.8 million.

Its shares moved up to a 52-week high of 102 7/16 in February after falling to a low of 2 11/16 last August.

All six analysts following the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.

Analysts are expecting it to post a loss of 35 cents a share in fiscal 2001.