Lason Shares Plummet Following 4th-Qtr Profit Warning on Y2K Order Delays : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Technology News Mon, 20 Dec 1999, 4:12pm EST

Lason Shares Plummet Following 4th-Qtr Profit Warning on Y2K Order Delays By James Mosher

Lason Shares Plummet Following 4th-Qtr Profit Warning (Update2)

(Updates shares in 2nd paragraph. Adds ratings cuts in 4th.)

Troy, Michigan, Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Lason Inc. shares plunged as much as 53 percent after the documents manager said Friday that fourth-quarter earnings will miss estimates because customers delayed purchases over Year 2000 concerns.

The shares fell 11 15/16 to 11 3/8 in midday trading of 9.94 million, the biggest drop in U.S. markets. Earlier, the shares fell as low as 10 27/32. Before today, Lason had fallen 60 percent this year.

The Troy, Michigan-based company said it expects per-share earnings to be 31 percent to 38 percent less than the 61-cent average estimate of analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial. The company earned $6.2 million, or 39 cents, on revenue of $92.6 million in last year's quarter.

At least five analysts cut their ratings today. ``We expect Lason's stock to continue to suffer a tempest in the near term,'' Jefferies & Co. analyst Susan Lacerra wrote in a report. She reduced her rating to ``hold'' from ``buy.''

Lason, which manages documents, records, volume mail and copy centers for companies, said it will focus on electronic commerce and quit ``traditional'' litigation support, software development and other non-Internet services. It expects the moves to reduce 2000 earnings by 60 cents to 80 cents a share. Analysts had forecast $2.67, according to First Call.

Lason plans to announce fourth-quarter earnings during the week of March 6.

-- Michigander (, December 20, 1999


And we wonder why some executives may be less than forthcoming? See what happens when you tell the truth?

-- Mad Monk (, December 20, 1999.

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