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Plantronics Pounded by Miss

Plantronics (PLT) took it in the ear Wednesday, falling 26% after a fiscal fourth-quarter earnings miss.

The Santa Cruz, Calif.-based company earned $20.7 million, or 43 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $26.1 million, or 51 cents a share, a year ago. Adjusted for items, earnings were $21.8 million, or 45 cents a share in the most recent quarter while analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of $21.7 million, or 44 cents a share.

Fourth-quarter revenue rose 39.9% from a year-ago period to $206.7 million as against analysts' expectation of $203.3 million.

The company expects to earn 22 cents a share to 29 cents a share in the first quarter on revenue of $195 million to $205 million. Adjusted earnings are expected to be 28 cents a share to 33 cents a share for the first quarter. Analysts are expecting earnings of 43 cents a share on revenue of $206.4 million in the first quarter.

"Profit performance was certainly lower than our expectations, yet we feel we made significant strategic progress over the course of the year and are better positioned for the future. These investments are not entirely behind us, and in fact we intend to increase marketing expenditures for the wireless office segment in fiscal 2007 to a total of about $19 million. That said, we plan to resume executing to a profitable growth strategy in FY07," the company said.

Fourth-quarter gross profit rose 15.2% from a year-ago period to $85.1 million while gross margin declined 883 basis points to 41.2%. Operating income for the quarter was down 15.9% to $25.9 million and operating margin dropped 831 basis points to 12.5%.

Shares fell $9.65 to $26.99.

This story was created through a joint venture between TheStreet.com and IRIS.

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