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Segue Software&#039s 4Q loss wider than expected

Segue Software posted a wider-than-expected loss in its fourth quarter Wednesday, losing $2.1 million, or 17 cents a share, on sales of $13 million.

First Call consensus expected Segue (Nasdaq: SEGU) to lose 15 cents a share this quarter.

Its shares closed up 1/16 to 14 3/4 ahead of the earnings report.

The $13 million in sales marks a 16 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it lost $3.6 million, or 41 cents a share, on sales of $11.2 million.

For the year, it lost $15.9 million, or $1.53 a share, on sales of $40.8 million compared to a loss of $5.1 million, or 59 cents a share, on sales of $40.8 million in fiscal 1999.

"In 1999, Segue substantially completed its transformation from a client/server software supplier to a full-fledged eBusiness infrastructure company," said CEO Steve Butler in a prepared release. "More than 90 percent of our annual revenue in 1999 came from our Silk eBusiness product line, compared to approximately 61 percent in 1998 and 33 percent in 1997."

First Call consensus expects Segue to earn 28 cents a share in the fiscal year.

Three of the five analysts tracking the stock rate it a "hold."

Its shares peaked at 26 1/4 in November after falling to a low of 4 in May.>