Shares of Microtune ( TUNE) were among technology's losers Wednesday, falling 21% after the chipmaker posted solid third-quarter results but warned that fourth-quarter sales would be well below expectations. The company earned $400,000, or 1 cent a share, on sales of $16.4 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expected a loss of 2 cents a share on sales of $15.6 million. A year ago, the company reported a loss of $3.9 million, or 8 cents a share, on sales of $16.3 million. For the fourth quarter, Microtune forecast fourth-quarter sales of $14.5 million to $15 million. Analysts had been expecting sales of $17.5 million. "Recently it has come to light that there is a considerable amount of excess cable modem inventory at one or more of our customers and their channels. As a result, our visibility into the cable modem market is quite cloudy, and we believe that the excess inventory situation will have a negative impact on our revenue in Q4 and Q1," the company said. Shares were trading down 98 cents to $3.76. GSI Commerce ( GSIC) fell 18% after the company said it would delay its third-quarter earnings release because of potential accounting discrepancies. The company said some credits that were recorded during the company's fourth quarter of fiscal 2004 possibly should have been recorded during its fiscal 2005 year. GSI, a provider of e-commerce systems, said its internal auditor and controller discovered the problem in August. Additionally, GSI said that a systemic control that's used to reconcile its accounts payable balance failed during the third quarter of fiscal 2005. As a result, the company had to change to a manual control to validate the account. "The failure of the systemic control may be a material weakness and the change to a manual control may have materially affected GSI Commerce's internal control over financial reporting," the company said.
Though the company won't release its full earnings on time, it did preview third-quarter results. The company expects to report a loss of $4.2 million to $4.5 million, or 10 cents a share, wider than its earlier forecast of $2.5 million to $3 million. However, GSI estimates sales of $84 million to $85 million, topping its prior view of $79 million to $84 million. Analysts had been expecting a loss of 6 cents a share and sales of $85.1 million. Looking ahead, GSI now expects a fourth-quarter profit of $5.5 million to $6.5 million, down from previous guidance of $9.5 million to $10.5 million. Results during both the third and fourth quarter were hurt by higher costs related to partner launches and because of delays in actual launch dates. Wall Street expects a profit of 39 cents a share for the fourth quarter. GSI shares were trading down $3.42 to $15.63. Silicon Storage Technology ( SSTI) rose 7% after the flash memory company posted better-than-expected third-quarter results. The company reported a loss of $4.8 million, or 5 cents a share, on sales of $118.1 million. Analysts projected a bigger loss of 14 cents a share and sales of $108 million. A year earlier, the company had a profit of $14.5 million, or 15 cents a share, on sales of $112.2 million. Looking ahead, Silicon Storage forecast fourth-quarter earnings of break-even to 5 cents a share on sales of $125 million to $140 million. Analysts had forecast a loss of 8 cents a share and sales of $124.1 million. Shares recently gained 34 cents to $5.23. Shares of Flextronics ( FLEX) were slammed after the contract electronics manufacturer posted disappointing second-quarter results and warned that third- and fourth-quarter results would be below expectations. The company reported a loss of $2.4 million, or break-even on a per-share basis, reversing a year-earlier profit of $98.5 million, or 16 cents a share. Excluding items, the company would have earned $101.3 million, or 17 cents a share, below the average analyst forecast of 19 cents a share. Sales for the quarter ended Sept. 30 fell to $3.88 billion from $4.14 billion, missing analysts' target of $4.11 billion.
For the fiscal third quarter, Flextronics forecast adjusted earnings of 18 cents to 20 cents a share on sales of $4 billion to $4.2 billion. Analysts' mean estimate called for earnings of 25 cents a share and sales of $4.56 billion. Flextronics predicted fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of 16 cents to 18 cents a share on sales of $3.6 billion to $3.8 billion. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 22 cents a share, with sales of $4.41 billion. Flextronics shares were down $2.71, or 22%, to $9.39. Shares of Taser International ( TASR) fell 6% after the stun-gun maker posted a big decline in third-quarter earnings and sales. The company earned $270,945, or less than 1 cent a share, on sales of $11.7 million. A single analyst was expecting earnings of 10 cents a share, while two analysts had an average estimate for sales of $13.2 million. A year earlier, the company earned $6.1 million, or 11 cents a share, on sales of $18.9 million. Separately, Taser said a wrongful-death lawsuit filed against it in Indiana was voluntarily dismissed by plaintiffs. Shares were recently trading down 40 cents to $6.57. Other technology movers included Lucent Technologies ( LU), down 11 cents to $3; Microsoft ( MSFT), up 20 cents to $25.23; Sirius Satellite Radio ( SIRI), up 19 cents to $6.37; RF Micro Devices ( RFMD),down 26 cents to $5.34; Intel ( INTC), up 10 cents to $23.21; Sun Microsystems ( SUNW), down 6 cents to $3.91; Cisco ( CSCO), up 2 cents to $17.14; JDSU ( JDSU), up 2 cents to $2.07; Oracle ( ORCL), down 27 cents to $12.70; and Apple Computer ( AAPL), up $1.23 to $57.33.