Drug research and consulting firm



warned on Monday that it would post a second-quarter loss amid delayed customer orders and general uncertainty in the pharmaceutical industry.

Excluding charges, the company now expects to lose $1.8 million to $2.1 million, or 20 cents to 25 cents a share, in the quarter, well below the Thomson Financial/First Call consensus estimate of a profit of 7 cents a share.

Revenue is expected to be between $10.5 million and $11 million, with lower revenue in the Discovery Software licensing and Software Consulting Services divisions. The company said the shortfall was caused by delayed purchase decisions from customers of both lines.

In a press release, Tripos said, "We have experienced delayed decision-making among our customers on a series of opportunities that were anticipated at the end of the second quarter. The general uncertainty in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries impeded the closing of pending contracts."

Going forward, the company sees full-year revenue at $53 million to $58 million, missing the consensus estimate of $67.1 million.

Shares of Tripos were recently plunging about 24% to $16.50 in premarket trading on the news after closing at $21.80 Friday.