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Sipex falls on profit warning

Circuit maker Sipex Corp. (Nasdaq: SIPX) fell 19 percent on high volume Friday after the company issued a third quarter profit warning due to a materials shortage from its Taiwan supplier.

Shares were down 2 3/4 to 11 9/16 Friday, well below their 52-week high of 38.

Sipex said after Thursday's closing bell that earnings are expected to be in the range of 7 to 9 cents a share in the third quarter ending Oct. 2. First Call's consensus was expecting the company to earn 16 cents a share. Revenue is expected to be between $13.5 million and $14 million, compared to revenue of $16.2 million in last year's third quarter, the company said.

The company said its Taiwan supplier allocated it less subcontract wafers than expected.

Sipex said it has not yet been able to assess the delivery problem into the fourth quarter, but expects production will be hurt by the Taiwan earthquake.

Warburg Dillon Read analyst Gregory Mischou said Friday he lowered his fiscal 1999 earnings per share estimate for circuit maker Sipex Corp. to 46 cents a share from 65 cents a share and cut its price target to $15 from $21.

Mischou said during conference call, Sipex management indicated that a wafer availability problem that caused this shortfall would impact its fourth quarter as well.

Reuters contributed to this report.