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Vocus Plunges on Full-Year Revenue Forecast

Vocus Inc. dropped the most in 11 months after projecting full-year sales that trailed analysts’ estimates as the maker of public-relations software works to integrate a new business.

The shares fell 14 percent to $15.32 at the close in New York, the biggest one-day decline since Feb. 29. Vocus had dropped 25 percent in the 12 months through yesterday compared with a 1.6 percent gain for the Russell 3000 Technology Index.

Vocus has revamped its business model and acquired an e-mail marketing business in the past year, leaving investors unsure about how to gauge revenue growth, said Steven Ashley, an analyst with Robert W. Baird & Co. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

“You have two currents going on -- the old business being weaker, and the new business being stronger,” Ashley, who recommends investors hold the shares, said today in an interview. “Business model transitions take a while. They’re bumpy. We’re a good way through.”

Revenue for 2013 may increase as much as 17 percent to $201.8 million, Beltsville, Maryland-based Vocus said in a statement yesterday. Analysts projected $208 million, the average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

On Feb. 28, 2012, Vocus announced it had acquired iContact, a provider of e-mail and social-marketing software, for $169 million. The next day, the stock plunged 40 percent amid concern over the company having spent more than 80 percent of its cash for the purchase.

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