Investor nervousness about Comverse Technologies (Nasdaq:CMVT) was evidently justified, going by its pre-announced results for the third quarter.
The company yesterday warned that its third quarter revenues will be about $295 million, almost 11% below earlier management guidance.
Diluted earnings per share will be about 11 cents, excluding an expected charge for the write-down of investments. Its previous estimate had been 20 cents.
It is the second consecutive quarterly earnings warning in Comverse's history.
The company also said it expects its orders backlog to shrink, as will advance payments from customers. Accounts receivable will grow, it warned. Comverse declined to speculate on the magnitude of its write-offs.
Chairman and chief executive Kobi Alexander noted that the company remains profitable, and that management is confident of the company's long-term prospects and leading position.
But, the company ominously added, it is "undertaking a comprehensive review of its operations, and plans to align its cost structure, including staffing levels, to reflect the current business climate". Read: job cuts, which could reach into the hundreds or thousands. Comverse didn't put a figure on that either.
While admitting to the impact of the adverse macroeconomic environment, Alexander pointed to the company's strong products and technology, which he called "essential to the generation of traffic and revenue for telecommunications network operators". He also noted that the company has a cool $1.7 billion cash in hand. It isn't about to go broke.
In any case, Comverse will be publishing its Q3 results at the end of November or in early December. Its share took a hammering after the bell last night, losing almost 6%. Comverse stock has lost 22.3% this month so far. Over 52 weeks it has lost over 80% of its value.