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S1&#039&#039s 3Q loss wider than expected

S1 posted a wider-than-expected net loss in its third quarter Tuesday, losing $136.1 million, or $2.46 a share, on sales of $64.4 million.

First Call Corp. consensus expected it to lose $2.39 a share in the quarter.

Ahead of the earnings report, S1 (Nasdaq: SONE) shares finished off 19 cents to $10.69.

The $64.4 million in sales marks a 160 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it lost $2.7 million, or 10 cents a share, on sales of $24.8 million.

Last week, S1 tipped off investors that its third-quarter results might not be up to par when it announced it would lay off 7 percent of its workforce in an effort to "streamline" its operations.

Back in February, S1 was one of Wall Street's best stories as its stock surged to an all-time high of $142.25 a share. By late October, the stock was trading at a 52-week low of $7.63 a share.

"We are excited about our direction at S1. After successfully integrating five companies in the last year, we have channeled our energies into the core eFinance platforms that enable our customers to differentiate their products in the financial services marketplace," said CEO James Mahan III in a prepared release.

In the quarter, gross profit margins remained flat from the second quarter at 44 percent.

Software licensing sales jumped 545 percent from the year-ago quarter to $14.6 million. Professional services sales improved 186 percent to $42.2 million and data center sales moved up 179 percent to $5.8 million.

Last quarter, S1 posted a loss of $2.82 a share on sales of $59.1 million.

Fifteen of the 19 analysts following the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.