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Software maker

Synopsys

(SNPS) - Get Synopsys, Inc. Report

warned Monday that it will post dramatic earnings shortfalls for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2000, as well as fiscal year 2001, because the company will adopt a new method of selling product licenses.

Shares of Synopsys tumbled quickly in after-hours trading to 26, down 6 9/16, or 20%, from its Monday close of 32 9/16, according to

Island ECN

.

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The company, based in Mt. View, Calif., said it expects a loss of 45 cents a share for the fourth quarter and earnings of 90 cents a share for fiscal 2001. The consensus estimate of analysts polled by

First Call/Thomson Financial

was earnings of 77 cents for the fourth quarter and $3.39 for fiscal 2001.

The company's revenue targets are $124 million for the fourth quarter and $685 million for 2001.

Synopsys, the second-largest maker of software for designers of semiconductors behind

Cadence Design Systems

( CDN) will now focus on selling two types of product licenses: perpetual licenses and technology subscription licenses.