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Profit warning hammers Premisys shares

    Shares of Premisys Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: PRMS) tumbled 1 7/16, or 17 percent, to 6 15/16 Thursday after the telecommunications-equipment maker issued a profit warning and absorbed a downgrade from Goldman Sachs.

    On Wednesday, company officials said it now expects a loss of between 5 cents to 8 cents a share on sales of between $14 million to $15 million in its fourth quarter.

    First Call consensus expected it to earn 10 cents a share in the quarter.

    In the year-ago period, it made 19 cents a share on sales of $31.2 million.

    Goldman Sachs cut the stock from a "market outperform" rating to "market perform."

    This marks the third time in less than a year that Premisys has issued a profit warning for one reason or another.

    Company officials blamed the fourth-quarter shortfall on its inability to close several large contracts.

    Its shares peaked at 26 3/4 last June before falling to a low of 5 3/8 in October.

    Four of the eight analysts following the stock rate it a "hold."