Updated from 12:34 p.m.
Shares of Viisage (VISG) were among technology's losers Thursday, falling 17.7% after the identity solutions technology company warned that first-quarter sales would fall below expectations.
The company posted a loss of $5.2 million, or 11 cents a share, on sales of $19 million during the fourth quarter. Results included a $2 million impairment charge and a $900,000 noncash deferred tax expense. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting a loss of 9 cents a share -- which excludes items -- on sales of $18.4 million. Looking ahead, Viisage forecast first-quarter sales of $15 million to $17 million, below analysts' expectations of $19.7 million. For all of 2005, the company forecast sales of $73 million to $80 million and said it expects to be profitable. Analysts are expecting earnings of 6 cents a share on sales of $84 million.
During the fourth quarter, the company said it "had an internal control deficiency that constitutes a 'material weakness' as defined by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board's Accounting Standard No. 2. The company has concluded that it had insufficient personnel resources and technical accounting expertise within the accounting function to resolve non-routine or complex accounting measures," it said. As a result, the company's independent auditor will issue an adverse opinion with respect to the company's internal controls over financial reporting.Viisage is currently reviewing all of its internal controls and believes that it will conclude that it had "significant deficiencies, which could constitute a material weakness, in the control processes around information technology systems as well," the company said. Finally, management doesn't believe the control deficiencies will have an impact on its financial strength or business prospects. Shares traded down 97 cents to $4.50. Taser (TASR - Get Report) rose 5.3% after the stun-gun maker announced the dismissal of a lawsuit filed against it. The suit, which was filed in June 2004, alleged that Nick Kerchoff was hurt after he volunteered to experience a Taser discharge during a device presentation. "We feel vindicated to have Taser International dismissed from this lawsuit. There was no medical evidence linking the Taser device to Mr. Kerchoff's injuries," the company said. Shares traded up 72 cents to $14.22.