Shares in mobile data services provider Motricity (Nasdaq: MOTR) plunged more than 25 percent Wednesday after the company cut its revenue forecast for the first quarter of this year.

Motricity, which was once based in Durham but is now located in Bellevue, Wash., expects first quarter revenue between $32 million and $33 million. That’s down from revenue of $36 million in the final three months of 2010. Motricity also said it expected between $170 million and $180 million this year, up from $133 million in 2010.

The company still maintains an operation in Durham.

Analysts had been expecting $42.2 million in first quarter revenue. The company forecast adjusted net income in the range of $500,000 to $1 million. Analysts had expected $7.9 million

Shares closed Wednesday at $16.36, down from an open of $22.02. More than 15 million shares changed hands in heavy trading.

Motricity’s shares have ranged from a high of $31.95 to a low of $6.55.

After the announcement, Baird analyst William Power cut his earnings expectations to 59 from 80 cents per share this year and to 90 cents from $1.33 per share in 2012. In addition, Power noted that the company’s acquisition of Adenyo appears to be generating less revenue than expected.

On Tuesday, Motricity reported a profit in the fourth quarter, aided by a 42 percent jump in revenue. Motricity reported net income of $2.3 million, or 6 cents a share, for the three months ended Dec. 31. That compares with a loss of $10.3 million, or $1.79 a share, in the prior-year quarter.

Excluding the impact of stock-based compensation and other special items, Motricity said it earned $5.7 million or 14 cents a share.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected the company to report earnings of 12 cents a share.

Revenue surged to $36 million from $25.3 million. Analysts anticipated revenue of $35.7 million.

Management said it expects the growth rate in revenue to accelerate further this year, fueled in part by robust growth in international markets, particularly in the second half of the year.

For the full year, the company reported a loss of $20.3 million, or 88 cents a share, compared with a loss of $40.3 million, or $6.85 a share, in 2009. Revenue rose 17 percent to $133.4 million from $113.7 million the year before.

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