Lexmark ( LXK) slashed its third-quarter earnings projection after being hurt by weaker-than-expected revenue from inkjet and laser supplies, and the printer company warned that the problems likely will continue into the fourth quarter.

Lexmark now expects third-quarter earnings of 40 cents to 50 cents a share, excluding about 5 cents a share in charges related to previously announced work force reductions. The Lexington, Ky., company expects revenue to drop about 4% to 5% from $1.27 billion a year earlier.

Lexmark's earlier forecasts, given in July, called for third-quarter earnings of 95 cents to $1.05 a share on low-single-digit revenue growth. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expected earnings of $1.02 a share and revenue of $1.3 billion.

The shortfall in laser and inkjet supply revenue was due to a reduction in channel inventories and lower customer demand, Lexmark said. In addition, the company said aggressive product pricing, promotions and slower demand cut into laser and inkjet printer revenue.

Lexmark expects these factors to continue to hurt the fourth quarter, and predicted revenue and earnings per share will be "significantly below" analysts' mean expectations, which currently call for earnings of $1.17 a share and revenue of $1.56 billion.

Lexmark shares were battered in early trading, recently plunging 24% to $46.42, down $14.52.

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