Educational publisher ProQuest ( PQE) warned Monday of a third-quarter earnings shortfall linked to the recent Gulf Coast hurricanes.

The Ann Arbor, Mich., company said it expects to make 59 cents a share for the quarter on revenue of $159 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had forecast a 77-cent profit on sales of $163 million.

The company said it lost some revenue from hurricane-related damage to Voyager customer schools in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. ProQuest also said the storms delayed disbursement of Texas state funding for reading and math intervention programs. The company said the two factors cut earnings by 20 cents for the latest period.

"The hurricanes had two unforeseen impacts on our Voyager business," said CEO Alan Aldworth. "Limited sales to customers in hurricane-ravaged areas of Louisiana and Texas reduced Voyager's third quarter sales by approximately $4.0 million which we do not believe will be made up in 2005. Additionally, Texas funding delays had an adverse impact on Voyager's revenue of approximately $10 million.

"Since the reading intervention funds have already been approved by Texas legislators, we expect that the funds -- while currently delayed -- will be disbursed for the current 2005-2006 academic year. I believe that the majority of this revenue will be recovered in early 2006, with a small amount realized in 2005," said Aldworth.

On Monday, ProQuest shares fell 59 cents to $34.19.

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