Updated from 12:34 p.m.
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.
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.
rose 12% after the company was awarded a patent entitled "Method for Producing Catalyst Structures" by the European patent office. The patent, according to Altair, describes the process for making microporous structures that can be used as catalyst supports, or as electrode materials, in connection with the production of titanium metal and other processes. The technology that's covered by the patent will be used to create titanium metal using a more cost-effective process, it said. Shares traded up 45 cents to $4.21.
fell 13% after the Internet and phone services company posted a wider fourth-quarter loss compared to a year ago. The company posted a loss of $9.2 million, or 23 cents a share, on sales of $280.2 million. Excluding items, the company posted a loss of $2.1 million a year ago on sales of $214.8 million. Shares traded down 65 cents to $4.35.
rose 8.4% after the maker of electronic components posted third-quarter earnings and sales that beat expectations. The company earned $4.7 million, or 13 cents a share, on sales of $92.4 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 12 cents a share on sales of $83.2 million. Excluding items, the company earned $4.4 million, or 12 cents a share, a year ago on sales of $86.7 million. Looking ahead, Methode forecast 2005 earnings of 63 cents to 68 cents a share on sales of $370 million to $380 million. Analysts are expecting earnings of 64 cents a share on sales of $373.3 million. Shares traded up 96 cents to $12.38.
Other technology movers included
, down 2 cents to $24.50;
Sirius Satellite Radio
, down 17 cents to $5.75;
, down 9 cents to $25.17;
, down $2.33 to $41.79;
, up 6 cents to $17.80;
, down 12 cents to $17.10; and
, down 8 cents to $3.08.