Software maker

Synopsys

(SNPS) - Get 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

.

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.