Rainbow Technologies

(RNBO)

expects fourth-quarter earnings to fall below the company's previous expectations, citing an unexpected slowdown in its North American business in the last month of the quarter.

Shares of Rainbow closed at $11.44 in

Nasdaq

trading today, but plunged to $8.88 in after-hours

Island

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activity, a decline of more than 22%.

For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, Rainbow expects to earn 10 cents to 14 cents a share. Four analysts surveyed by

First Call/Thomson Financial

estimate the company, which is based in Irvine, Calif., will earn 18 cents a share. The company earned 13 cents in the year-ago period.

Despite the fourth-quarter profit warning, the company projected "record" revenue and earnings growth for fiscal 2000.

Rainbow said it was optimistic concerning the 2001 operating results, but cautioned that the company's growth in the next two quarters could be slower because of market conditions.

Rainbow, which makes antipiracy, license management, distribution and tracking products for networks and the Internet, will release its earnings on Feb. 28.