Pike Electric Tumbles On Rough Quarterly Report

MT. AIRY, N.C. (AP) ¿ Shares of Pike Electric Corp. fell Tuesday after the power services contractor posted fiscal first-quarter results below Wall Street expectations and withdrew its guidance due to market uncertainty.

Pike said Monday after trading concluded that for the three months ended in September it lost $2.7 million, or 8 cents per share, compared with a profit of $18.3 million, or 54 cents per share, in the year-earlier period.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected profit of 9 cents per share.

Revenue dropped to $127.2 million from $185.5 million. Analysts predicted revenue of $128.3 million.

"The general economic weakness and a longer-than-anticipated deferral of maintenance spending by our customers is the longest and most significant we have experienced," said CEO J. Eric Pike in a statement. "These facts, coupled with the lack of storm restoration work, negatively impacted our earnings for the quarter."

FRB analyst Alex Rygiel on Tuesday downgraded the shares to "Market Perform" from "Outperform" and cut his share price target to $11 from $15.

In premarket trading the stock tumbled $1.86, or 15.1 percent, to $10.50. The stock has ranged from $7.28 to $12.99 over the past year.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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