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What: Shares of Comverse Technology (Nasdaq: CMVT) sank by as much as 11% today after the company reported disappointing first-quarter earnings.

So what: Revenue rang in at $343.7 million, slightly lower than sales a year ago, with an adjusted loss per share of $0.15, five times as much as the $0.03-per-share loss last time around. Investors were expecting the company to put up sales of $379.8 million and a profit of $0.11 per share, well above the results actually posted.

Now what: Charles Burdick, CEO of Comverse's parent holding company CTI, attributed the shortfall to the timing of revenue recognition and collection milestone triggers, as well as the overall business transformation launched last year. CTI has previously disclosed its intentions to spin off Comverse to existing CTI shareholders. The first significant step in the spinoff is the appointment of Philippe Tartavull as Comverse CEO.

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Fool contributor Evan Niu holds no position in any company mentioned. Check out his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.