Shares of


(CERN) - Get Report

were plummeting in premarket trading after the company warned that first-quarter earnings will come in well below analysts' expectations due to anemic new business.

Recently, shares were down 37%, or $12.09, to $20, according to Instinet.

TheStreet Recommends

"A change in the competitive environment and more challenging economics for health care provider organizations resulted in us losing some deals we expected to win and some deals being pushed out of the quarter," said Neal Patterson, chief executive of Cerner. "We also believe that our move to a more client-centric organizational structure may have had some impact on our focus as teams adjusted to their realigned responsibilities."

The company now expects to earn 13 cents to 15 cents a share, compared with 28 cents a share in the prior-year quarter. Analysts expected the company to earn 38 cents a share.

The company expects new business bookings for the first quarter to be between $145 and $150 million, compared with its previous estimate of $200 million. Consequently, revenue is expected to be $189 million to $192 million. Previously, the company estimated $205 million to $210 million. In the first quarter of 2002, revenue was $175.3 million.

Shares of Kansas City, Mo.-based Cerner closed at $32.09 on the