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Friday, July 9, 1999 < Prev Next >

Visio Stock Plummets After Earnings Warning

Shares of Seattle-based Visio plunged today after the maker of software for computer-aided drawing and diagramming warned that third-quarter earnings won't meet analysts' expectations because of delays in closing several large sales.

Visio shares were down $9.325, or 24 percent, to $29.563 at the close of trading.

The company said it expects to earn 29 cents to 30 cents a share in the quarter ended June 30. It was expected to earn 35 cents, the average estimate of eight analysts polled by First Call.

Visio said revenue will be $50 million, or less than the $53.5 million that had been forecast. Sales were hurt by continued problems with its distribution channel and slower-than-expected closings of several corporate-licensing agreements, Visio said.

Those transactions are now expected to close in the fourth quarter, said Visio Treasurer Leslie Deitz.

The company's revenue otherwise was affected by customers shifting from purchases of prepackaged software to licensing agreements, and its Visio 5.0 product line nearing the end of its life cycle. A new line, Visio 2000, comes out in September.

Visio expects fourth-quarter revenue of $61 million to $62 million, the lower end of estimates. Its outlook for fiscal 2000 remains unchanged and includes a 40 percent increase in revenue, Deitz said.

Visio stockholders have experienced a roller-coaster ride. The shares hit an all-time high 14 months ago, at $50.25. The Asian economic crisis drove the price as low as $14.625 in October. The shares climbed back above $40, only to crash to the low $20s in January on worries of slowing growth. Slowly, the price worked back up to $39 before the latest woes.

Information from Seattle Times business reporter Greg Heberlein is included in this report.

The Seattle Times

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