Network storage company



was crushed in Wednesday's premarket after lowering fourth-quarter sales and earnings guidance.

The Alisa Viejo, Calif., company expects to earn 34 cents a share in the quarter ended March 28 on revenue of $128 million, and sees a profit before merger-related stock compensation of 36 cents a share in the period. The company noted the 36-cent earnings estimate is at the low end of its previous range while the revenue estimate is below its January forecast of $138 million to $141 million.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson One Analytics were predicting pre-charge earnings of 38 cents a share on revenue of $140 million in the quarter. The stock was recently trading for $37.63 on the Instinet premarket session, down $5.06, or 11.9%, from its Tuesday close.

QLogic said most of the revenue shortfall is attributable to a decline in expected orders from two original equipment manufacturers for so-called host bus adapters at the end of the quarter.

"Although we entered the fourth quarter expecting to continue the momentum generated by our revenue growth throughout the first three quarters of fiscal 2004, we experienced weaker than expected demand during the end of our fourth quarter," the company said. "Despite the challenges encountered with our fourth quarter revenue, we expect that our overall gross margin percentage will be comparable to the prior quarter."