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Updated from 11:15 a.m. ET



, a supplier of products that connect servers and data storage devices, said Monday it was "optimistic" about sales and expects fourth-quarter net income to grow from 270% to 355% beyond the $1.37 million recorded a year ago.

Investors were not as optimistic, as the low end of JNI's estimates were below what analysts were forecasting. The shares plummeted Monday in trading on the


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. They were recently down $23.94, or 38.2%, to $38.75.

In its statement, the San Diego company said it expects fourth-quarter earnings of 18 cents to 22 cents a share, excluding amortization, compared with 5 cents a share in the same period last year. Four analysts surveyed by

First Call/Thomson Financial

were expecting earnings of 20 cents a share for the quarter.

The company also expects fourth-quarter revenue of $30.2 million to $34.6 million, an increase of 110% to 140% over revenue of $14.4 million in the same period last year. Analysts were forecasting revenue of $34.4 million. For fiscal 2000, JNI sees revenue of $102.5 million to $106.5 million, an increase of 155% to 165% over 1999 revenue of $40.2 million. The consensus estimate calls for revenue to be $107.2 million in 2000.

The company cited some sluggishness in its distribution channel. JNI doesn't record revenue for its products until distributors complete sales to end users.

"They're telling us the sales are out there," said JNI spokesman Chris Wildermuth. "But we can't do anything until they actually sell it. Distributors by nature are an optimistic group."