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Today's Tech Winners and Losers

Shares of Peerless Systems (PRLS) were among technology's losers Friday, slumping 23% after the imaging products company reported disappointing fourth-quarter results and announced the retirement of its chief financial officer.

The company earned $1.8 million, or 9 cents a share, on revenue of $9.6 million. A single analyst polled by Thomson First Call expected earnings of 10 cents a share on revenue of $10 million. During the year-earlier period, the company earned $1.1 million, or 7 cents a share, on revenue of $8.3 million. Gross margin in the most recent period came in at 57%, down from 69% a year ago. For the first quarter, Peerless projected earnings of $1 million to $1.6 million and revenue of $9 million to $9.5 million.

Peerless said Bill Neil, who had served as CFO since 2000, will remain with the company until a successor is hired. He joined the company in 1998 as corporate controller. "Although he and his expertise will be missed, Bill has certainly earned the rest and relaxation he has been seeking at his home near Lake Hughes, California," Peerless said. Shares were trading down $2.17 to $7.45.

Merix (MERX) jumped 15% after the maker of printed circuit boards posted third-quarter results that topped forecasts. The company reported earnings of $809,000, or 4 cents a share, on revenue of $95.1 million. Excluding items, the company earned $2.7 million, or 14 cents a share. Analysts expected earnings of 2 cents a share on revenue of $89.2 million. A year earlier, the company earned $393,000, or 2 cents a share, on revenue of $50 million. Excluding items, year-earlier earnings were $876,000, or 4 cents a share.

For the fourth quarter, Merix expects earnings of 11 cents to 15 cents a share, excluding items, which is well above analysts' projection of 2 cents a share. The company predicts revenue of $91 million to $95 million, compared with Wall Street's forecast of $87.8 million. Merix shares were trading up $1.69 to $12.65.
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