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Abaxis slumps as 1Q totals fall short of estimates

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Abaxis fell Friday after the blood analysis systems developer posted disappointing third-quarter results, saying orders didn't live up to its expectations.

In reporting results Thursday, Abaxis Inc., said sales of instruments like chemistry analyzers and hematology instruments and disposable products were down compared to the year-ago quarter. It added that sales to veterinary clinics were lower than expected.

The Union City, Calif., company said its distributors built up their inventories after Abaxis established new distribution deals with Abbott and MWI Veterinary Supply. The customers have to sell their inventory before they establish a normal flow of orders.

Abaxis Inc. said its net income fell to $3.2 million, or 14 cents per share, from $5 million, or 22 cents per share. Revenue fell 18 percent to $40.8 million in the fiscal quarter, which ended Dec. 31.

Analysts expected the company to report earnings of 20 cents per share and $48.4 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

Stifel Nicolaus analyst Jonathan Block said the company's sales growth had slowed over the last few quarters as distributors tried to sell off inventory that had accumulated. He kept a "Hold" rating on the stock.

Its shares declined $2.04, or 5.4 percent, to $36 in morning trading. The stock has dropped about 15 percent since Jan. 21.