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ORANGE COUNTY BRIEFLY

VitalCom Stock Declines 23% on News of Lagging Sales

September 18, 1996

TUSTIN — VitalCom Inc. stock tumbled 23% Tuesday after the company warned investors that it expects to post a loss and lower revenue in its third quarter.

VitalCom, which makes communications networks for the health-care industry, said its hospital customers are taking longer than anticipated to place larger orders, which delays sales. VitalCom said the larger orders lengthen the approval process and have delayed its sales. The company now anticipates revenue for the third quarter will be significantly lower than the $6 million it reported in its second quarter.

VitalCom earned $306,000 in the year-ago third quarter. Earnings per share weren't available because the company only went public in February.

The projection from VitalCom prompted Volpe Welty & Co. to downgrade its rating on the stock Tuesday. Volpe Welty now forecasts VitalCom will lose as much as 10 cents a share in the third quarter.

VitalCom stock fell $1.625 to close at $5.375 a share on the Nasdaq market. More than 931,000 shares traded hands, compared with a daily average volume of 41,909.

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