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Kronos Guides Lower

The stock slides 5% after hours.



will miss its first-quarter financial targets, the human resources software maker announced after Wednesday's closing bell.

The Chelmsford, Mass., company now expects to report EPS of 26 cents to 29 cents on sales ranging from $127.5 million to $129 million. In October, the company forecast a profit of 36 cents to 38 cents a share on sales of $133 million to $136 million.

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Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had been expecting a 38-cent-a-share profit in the December quarter on sales of $134.7 million.

The company expressed disappointment with the quarter but remains "optimistic about our market opportunity and potential for growth in fiscal 2006." In a brief interview, Executive Chairman Mark Ain said that because the company is in a quiet period until it reports the December quarter on Jan. 30, he could not discuss the reasons for the miss.

Shares of Kronos were halted prior to the announcement. When they resumed trading, shares fell nearly 5% to $39.56 in after-hours trading.