posted a wider-than-expected pro forma loss in the third quarter but said it will return to profitability by the middle of this year.

The software maker lost 17 cents a share before charges in the latest period, slightly wider than analysts' 15-cent estimate. Its net loss was $42.9 million, or 74 cents a share, compared with net income of $12.8 million, or 23 cents, last year. Revenue for the third quarter ended Dec. 31 fell to $73.3 million from $103.3 million.

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"The economy continues to affect our short-term results, but not our optimism about the future," the company said in a statement. Macromedia said it expects fourth-quarter revenue to be sequentially flat around $73 million and that it sees a return to profitability in the June quarter.