Shares of Waters Corp. ( WAT) tanked Friday after the company warned of a sales shortfall in the third quarter.

The company forecast overall sales growth of 3% in the quarter, down from its previous forecast of 8%. The top-line result will result in earnings of 43 cents a share, excluding a tax expense of $24 million, or 21 cents a share.

Waters had previously predicted earnings of 47 cents a share, while Wall Street was expecting 48 cents a share.

The company said third-quarter sales fell from last year in the U.S. because of lower-than-expected instrument sales to large pharmaceutical accounts. It cited "delays associated with the evaluation of new products and the release of capital budgets."

Sales outside of the United States were largely in line with the company's expectations, with strong sales growth in Asia, Waters said.

"At this time, the company anticipates a continuation of the challenging business conditions experienced in the third quarter," Waters said, "and is evaluating opportunities to control operating expenses."

The stock fell $4.13, or 10%, to $37.25 Friday.

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