Tech Industry

Lernout & Hauspie gets past 2Q estimates

Voice recognition software maker Lernout & Hauspie topped analysts' estimates in its second quarter Tuesday, earning $7.1 million, or 5 cents a share, on sales of $155 million.

First Call Corp. consensus expected it to earn 3 cents a share in the quarter.

Lernout & Hauspie (Nasdaq: LHSP) shares tumbled 7 3/16, or 19 percent, to 29 13/16 after the Wall Street Journal reported it had discrepancies in its sales figures for Korea.

The $155 million in sales marks a 104 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it raked in $17 million, or 14 cents a share, on sales of $76 million.

Including special items, Lernout & Hauspie recorded a net loss of $33.7 million, or 26 cents a share, compared with a profit of $9.6 million, or 8 cents, a year earlier.

"L&H's second quarter 2000 financial results reflected the acquisitions of both Dragon Systems and Dictaphone Corp., which initially have an overall negative effect on L&H's net income," the company said in a prepared release. "Dragon's and Dictaphone's revenues were adversely impacted in the second quarter by their adoption of L&H's more conservative revenue recognition policies."

L&H was busy doing damage control ahead of the earnings report, claiming its Korean customers were misquoted or inaccurate and that other information in the article had been distorted.

Last quarter, it topped analysts' estimates when it posted a profit of 12.2 million, or 19 cents a share, on sales of $110.7 million.

Its shares rallied up to a 52-week high of 72 1/2 in March after falling to 14 15/16 last August.

Both analysts tracking the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy."

Analysts except it to earn 59 cents a share in the fiscal year.