Analogic's

(ALOG)

third-quarter earnings slid sharply from a gain-enhanced year ago, missing estimates.

Analogic earned $2.5 million, or 18 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $28.1 million, or $2.07 a share, a year ago. The year-ago period included a $43.8 million pretax gain on a securities sale offset by a big income-tax provision. Third-quarter sales fell 3.8% from a year ago to $81.3 million.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call produced an average earnings estimate of 41 cents a share on sales of $95.4 million in the most recent quarter.

The company said it shipped 17 units of its EXACT tomography system in the third quarter, down from 44 units in the second quarter, when it accelerated shipments to meet customer demand. It currently has an 11-unit backlog.

"The lower volume of EXACT shipments resulted in lower income overall for the quarter," Analogic said. "We expect that new orders will be forthcoming as the upgraded EXACT system, known as the AN6400, completes inline field trials later this calendar year. We also expect to be able to market the separate upgrade kit later this year, which should improve revenue and income in fiscal 2007."

The stock closed at $55.20 Tuesday.