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Shares of



were sinking after the company said it expects to report a second-quarter loss, partly because of acquisition charges and restructuring costs.

After charges, the company said, it will lose $2.5 million to $2.6 million, or 4 cents a share, for the quarter ended June 30. The company earned 3 cents a share in the second quarter last year.

Before acquisition-related items and restructuring charges, the company expects earnings of $1.3 million to $1.4 million, or 2 cents a share, falling short of analysts' estimate of 7 cents a share. ScanSoft had a profit of 5 cents a share last year.

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Scansoft's stock was losing 95 cents, or nearly 20%, to $3.88.

"Two areas of disappointment were, first, embedded text-to-speech for games and consumer devices in Asia, caused by the complexity of migrating our partners to a new product line and the SARS epidemic, and, second, network speech, where we experienced delays in licensing as partners and customers waited for the company to clarify its intentions in merging ScanSoft and


( SPWX) solutions," said Paul Ricci, chief executive.

The company expects total revenue of $27.6 million to $27.9 million in the second quarter, up from last year's $26.2 million. Analysts, however, are calling for sales of $31 million. The company said imaging and speech revenue should rise 5% to 7% from last year but remain flat with the first quarter. Second-quarter results will be released Aug. 14.

ScanSoft also announced a year-long $25 million share buyback program. The Peabody, Mass.-based company said it will begin the buyback after its acquisition of Boston-based SpeechWorks is completed.