3Com Shares Slide on Earnings Worries

Rumors have the Santa Clara, Calif., modem maker warning it won't make third-quarter estimates.
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Shares of 3Com (COMS) failed to join the tech party that started with Hewlett-Packard's (HWP) shake-up, tumbling on rumors that the Internet communications concern will warn of a third-quarter earnings shortfall.

"The choice analysts are ... getting their institutions out," says one money manager whose firm is preparing to sell its 3Com stake before trading ends today. 3Com officials couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

3Com was off 3 1/2, or 11%, at 27 3/16 after hitting a low of 26 1/16. The Santa Clara, Calif., modem maker is expected to report earnings of 36 cents a share for its fiscal third quarter ended Feb. 26, according to a

First Call

survey.

Shares of 3Com fell out of favor last month when analysts started lowering estimates. The company has not changed its official guidance to Wall Street, but investors are treating it with new pessimism, and the stock has retreated into the high 20s from the mid-to-high-40s level it held through December, January and February.