Another Blow To Lotus

Shareholders of Lotus Development should be getting used to nasty surprises. In 1988, Lotus delayed a much-anticipated version of its 1-2-3 spreadsheet. Two years ago, a promised sales upturn failed to materialize. And on June 20, Lotus said its new spreadsheet and office "suite" programs would be two months late, leaving sales as much as $25 million below analysts' estimates for the quarter ending July 2. Even worse, the company admitted that it expects to lose market share to Microsoft. Investors were not kind: Lotus stock plunged 28% on the news, to 37. Three months ago, Lotus traded at 85.

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