Acme Packet Shares Plunge After Company Cuts 2011 Sales, Profit Forecasts

Acme Packet Inc. (APKT), a seller of equipment that helps transmit voice and data over Internet networks, fell the most in more than two months after the company cut its annual sales and profit estimates.

Acme expects 2011 sales (APKT) of $308 million to $310 million, down from an earlier forecast of as much as $320 million, according to a statement yesterday. Excluding some items, profit will be $1.03 to $1.05 cents a share, compared with a previous outlook of up to $1.18.

Acme slid 20 percent to $25.40 at 9:44 a.m., the most since Oct. 21. The shares fell 42 percent last year.

Service providers in North America are keeping a lid on spending as economic growth remains sluggish. The Bedford, Massachusetts-based company sells products that help transmit data over networks while maintaining security. Acme says demand remains strong from corporate customers, which buy equipment for their internal systems.

“Our results were impacted by uncertainty in the North American service provider market,” Chief Executive Officer Andy Ory said in the statement. “Outside of the North American service provider market, Acme Packet continued to perform very well -- particularly in our enterprise business as well as in our Europe and Latin America businesses.”

The company will release final 2011 results on Feb. 2.

To contact the reporters on this story: Nick Turner in San Francisco at nturner7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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