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Applied Microsystems shares plunge on warning

Applied Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: APMC) plunged 13/16, or 20 percent, to 3 5/16 Tuesday after warning that it would post a wider-than-expected loss in its second quarter.

Company officials said Friday it will lose between 28 cents to 33 cents a share in the quarter, considerably higher than the loss of 2 cents a share predicted by a survey of analysts for First Call Corp.

In the year-ago quarter, it earned a penny a share.

On Tuesday, Needham & Co. cut the stock from a "strong buy" to a "buy" recommendation.

The developer of embedded-systems software said its sales would be between $7.2 million and $7.4 million for the second quarter ended June 30, compared with $9.2 million in the year-ago period.

Company officials blamed softness in Asia as well as a transition to a new selling model for the shortfall.

"It is clear that we have an operational problem in our sales organization and we are making changes to remedy the problem," said CEO Stephen Verleye in a statement.

The stock peaked at 4 7/8 in January after bottoming out at a 52-week low of 2 1/8 in October.