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Weak Outlook Whacks Altera

Shares fall on a glum forecast.

Third-quarter profit and revenue fell at programmable-chip maker


(ALTR) - Get Altair Engineering Inc. Class A Report

, because of weak sales to communications and industrial markets.

The company's outlook for the current quarter was no brighter.

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Net income for the third quarter ended Sept. 28 fell to $69 million, or 20 cents a share, from $87.4 million, or 24 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial were expecting earnings of 19 cents a share.

The company reported sales of $315.8 million, down 7% from the third quarter 2006 and down 1% from the previous quarter. It was also lower than analysts' expectations of $325.15 million.

Shares of Altera were off more than 9% to $21.18 in recent afer-hours trading.

New products grew 13% sequentially during the quarter and are now 35% of the company's overall sales.

For the fourth quarter, Altera expects to see flat to down 4% sales growth from the previous quarter, suggesting revenue in the range of $303.2 million to $315.8 million. Analysts were expecting revenue of $336.4 million and earnings of 22 cents a share.