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Breakaway Fires Staff; Will Miss Q4 Targets

Breakaway Solutions , a Boston Internet consulting firm, will lay off 20 percent of its workforce, to try and ride out the storm that has swamped many in its sector. The move comes three months after the company slashed 10 percent of its staff.

The new cuts, expected to save $10 million annually, come as Breakaway lowered its fourth-quarter estimates. The company now expects revenue to be between $22.5 million and $24 million. Net loss will be between 26 to 28 cents per share.

The shortfall is largely attributed to a falloff in business from Internet Capital Group , one of the Breakaway's largest customers.

"Breakaway Solutions has felt the impact of a changing marketplace, particularly a shift away from a reliance on dot-com revenues," said Gordon Brooks, Breakaway's president and CEO. "These market changes have combined with (ICG's) reduction of its investments in its affiliate companies to make this quarter particularly challenging."

In addition to cutting costs, Brooks said the company has a $17 million backlog of first-quarter orders from customers including Fuji and Motorola. Given that, Breakaway expects sequential growth in the first quarter of 2001.

After a strong IPO, BWAY stock has tumbled 97 percent this year. Shares plunged .312, or 31 percent, to .688 this morning on news of missed financial targets. It is a new low for the stock. At one point this year, the issued traded as high as 85.5.