BMC Software's shares plummeted on Wednesday after warning that its fiscal third quarter earnings would be well below analysts' expectations due to worse than expected sales in North America.
The systems management software supplier saw its stock price fall by $27.4375 to close at $49.5625. The move came only days after it set a 52 week high of $86.63, however.
Max Watson, BMC's chairman, said: "This quarter, we were faced with a variety of unique circumstances and the underperformance of the North American geography."
As a result, the supplier said it now expected to turn in earnings of $100 million to $110 million or $0.40-0.44 per share for the quarter ending 31 December 1999, including the amortisation of goodwill and tangible assets, compared with profit of $110 million or $0.44 per share in the year ago quarter.
The First Call analysts' consensus had estimated that BMC would see earnings of $0.53 per share.
The warning follows an earlier one issued for its fiscal second quarter results, when the supplier blamed worse than expected European sales. It said at the time that it expected to hit Wall Street's forecasts for its third quarter, however.
BMC also estimated that its third quarter revenue would total between $420 million to $430 million, with both North American and international licence sales increasing by about 20 per cent. It generated turnover of $344.1 million in the year ago quarter.
The company expects to report its third quarter figures on 25 January and also announced that Rick Gardner, its senior vice president of field operations, had resigned.
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