Viant Slashes Earnings Outlook

Viant, whose third-quarter earnings warning triggered a meltdown in Internet consulting stocks in early September, is warning about its fourth quarter.

The Boston Internet consultancy said late Thursday afternoon that it will lose between 6 and 8 cents per share in the quarter ending Dec. 29, up to double the 4 cents per share loss estimated by analysts surveyed by First Call.

And that doesn’t include factoring in a previously announced restructuring charge of between $5 million and $7 million related to the early December layoffs of 125 consultants and others across the U.S. and the closure of its Dallas office.

The company said revenue would be between $27 million and $28 million in the quarter.

Viant, like other Net consultants, has been devastated by the downturn in spending in the sector. As funding for all sorts of tech companies has dried up and projects have been put on hold, the consultants have suffered.

Viant shares sank 0.094 Thursday to close at a 52-week low of 3.438. Shares have traded as high as 60.250 in the past year.

Viant’s Aug. 31 earnings warning sent the stock falling 40 percent the morning after the announcement, and shares have continued to slide.

The company in late October said it would buy back as much as $50 million worth of its stock on the open market to help boost share value.

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