Gateway

(GTW)

was getting hammered Tuesday, a day after the company said that while it still expects to post a pretax profit for the fourth quarter, before special charges, sales will fall short of analysts' expectations.

The PC maker's shares were dropping $2.11, or 20.6%, to $8.14 in recent trading.

The company released its quarterly forecast after the close of regular trading Monday. Analysts expect the company to lose a penny a share in the quarter. Gateway forecast quarterly revenue of about $1.16 billion, but according to First Call, Wall Street is looking for a top line of around $1.39 billion.

Gateway said domestic unit sales fell 15% from the third quarter, but the company said it generated a higher-than-expected average unit selling price in the fourth quarter. The company shipped about 700,000 units in the quarter.

Gateway will post its results on Jan. 24. The company's projections come

on the same day that

Compaq

(CPQ)

raised its quarterly guidance. Earlier Monday, analysts offered optimistic comments on both Compaq and

Dell

TheStreet Recommends

(DELL) - Get Report

.

Other computer and hardware makers were mixed. Compaq was lately losing 2.3% to $11.41, while Dell was ahead by 1.6% to $30.10.

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

was up 16 cents to $124.21, and

Hewlett-Packard

(HWP)

was unchanged at $23.02.

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

was down 0.5% to $22.79.

The Philadelphia Stock Exchange Box Maker's Index was slipping 0.5%.