Shares of Multi-Fineline Electronix ( MFLX) were among technology's losers Thursday, plunging 24% after the maker of assembly systems used by the electronics industry slashed its third-quarter earnings projection. For the period ended June 30, Multi-Fineline expects to post earnings of $7.5 million to $8.5 million, down from an earlier forecast of $12.2 million to $13.6 million. The company continues to see revenue of $126 million to $136 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call project revenue of $131.7 million. "The earnings shortfall resulted principally from an unexpected increase in the cost of goods sold," Multi-Fineline said. "The company believes the increased cost of goods sold was driven by a change in product mix at lower margins." Shares were down $6.76 to $21.05. Cree ( CREE) tumbled 21% after the maker of light-emitting diodes warned that fourth-quarter results would be lower than expected. For the period ended June 25, the company expects earnings to be below its earlier forecast of 22 cents to 24 cents a share. The company predicts revenue of about $106.7 million, which is at the low end of its previous guidance of $106 million to $110 million. Analysts project earnings of 23 cents a share on revenue of $107.3 million. Cree sees gross margin of about 42%, below its previous forecast of 46% to 47%. "Although we knew this was going to be a transition quarter, it proved to be more challenging than we expected," the company said. "Despite these near-term challenges, we are making progress in growing our new lighting and power product lines, which are key to driving our future growth." Shares were trading down $4.66 to $17.93. Shares of Sento ( SNTO) plummeted 48% after the information-technology services company warned that first-quarter results would miss its previous guidance. The company previously projected it would be profitable for the June quarter, but it now expects a loss of $1.4 million to $1.5 million, or 36 cents to 38 cents a share. Sento estimates revenue of $14.4 million to $14.6 million, compared with its prior forecast for revenue approaching $16 million. During the year-earlier quarter, the company recorded a loss of $1.7 million, or 44 cents a share, on revenue of $8.8 million. "Despite the nearly 65% revenue increase we expect to achieve over the first quarter of fiscal 2006, that growth is not sufficient to offset the negative turn of events for one of our clients nor the operating decision we had to make in the quarter," Sento said. The company also said that first-quarter challenges could carry over into the second quarter, though it expects sequential improvement. The company plans to issue first-quarter results on July 24. Shares recently had tumbled $3.01 to $3.32.
Tekelec ( TKLC) slid 10% after the telecom-equipment company swung to a first-quarter loss and posted lower-than-expected revenue. For the period ended March 31, the company reported a loss of $16.5 million, or 25 cents a share, on revenue of $107.5 million. Excluding items, the company posted a loss of $9.8 million, or 15 cents a share. Analysts expected a profit of 14 cents a share on revenue of $145.1 million. During the year-earlier quarter, the company earned $17.5 million, or 24 cents a share, on revenue of $138.9 million. Excluding items, Tekelec earned $20.6 million, or 28 cents a share, during the year-earlier period. "We do not believe that the first quarter results reflect a trend in our revenues, gross margins, operating income or earnings per share or are representative of the performance we expect for the second quarter or second half of 2006," the company said. Shares were down $1.22 to $10.47. SAP ( SAP) shares dropped 7% after the software maker's second-quarter revenue projection disappointed Wall Street. The company estimates that second-quarter software revenue rose 8% from a year ago to about $789 million, while overall revenue increased 9% to about $2.79 billion. The company expects to post earnings of $709 million on a pro forma operating basis in the second quarter. SAP also backed its full-year estimates. Still, shares were down $3.58 to $46.76. Shares of Kronos ( KRON) rose 5% after the management-software company agreed to acquire privately held Unicru for about $150 million in cash. Excluding charges for the amortization of intangible assets, the acquisition, which is expected to close during Kronos' fiscal fourth quarter, is expected to be accretive to earnings in fiscal 2007. Unicru, a provider of workforce-management systems, is expected to add about $50 million to Kronos' revenue during 2007. Shares of Kronos were trading up $1.31 to $30.35. Other technology movers included Microsoft ( MSFT), down 14 cents to $22.50; Lucent Technologies ( LU), down 5 cents to $2.14; Sun Microsystems ( SUNW), down 6 cents to $3.94; Oracle ( ORCL), down 33 cents to $13.89; Intel ( INTC), up 11 cents to $17.99; Apple Computer ( AAPL), down $1.02 to $51.94; Cisco Systems ( CSCO), down 25 cents to $18.01; and Ciena ( CIEN), down 11 cents to $3.96.