Fusion-io Falls After Revenue Forecast Misses Estimates

Fusion-io Inc., a maker of data-storage computers, plunged 13 percent to the lowest price since September 2011 after giving a forecast for fiscal third-quarter sales that was lower than analysts projected.

Sales in the period that ends in March will be about $80 million, and the operating loss will be $10 million to $15 million excluding certain items, Fusion-io said in a statement yesterday. Analysts on average had estimated sales of $137.7 million and operating profit of $16.7 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The forecast reflects reduced orders from its two largest customers, Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc., which shifted the timing of their purchases, Salt Lake City-based Fusion-io said. Apple and Facebook together account for 51 percent of the company’s business, and have decided to be more “efficient” with their spending the next two quarters, Fusion-io Chief Executive Officer David Flynn said in an interview.

“The schedules are completely up to our customers,” he said. “We call it like we see it when we issue forecasts.”

Shares of Fusion-io fell to $17.48 at the close in New York. That followed a 5.3 percent drop on Jan. 29, a day after disk-drive maker Seagate Technology Plc invested $40 million in Virident Systems Inc., a Fusion-io competitor. The stock has declined 24 percent in the past 12 months.

Fusion-io, which employs Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak as chief scientist, sells corporate storage computers based on flash memory, which is faster yet more expensive than widely used magnetic disk drives.

For the fiscal second quarter, which ended in December, sales rose 43 percent to $120.6 million, and profit excluding certain costs was $13.7 million, or 13 cents a share, Fusion-io said. Analysts on average had predicted sales of $119.9 million and profit of 8 cents.

Sales for the fiscal year that ends in June will be $420 million to $440 million, Fusion-io said, compared with analysts’ average estimate of $530.8 million.

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