Shares of LivePerson Inc. LPSN plummeted 41.2% toward a seven-year low in premarket trading Thursday, after the provider of natural-language chat services using conversational artificial intelligence reported late-Wednesday a surprise fourth-quarter loss and revenue decline. During the quarter in November, LivePerson said its WildHealth subsidiary was notified that Medicare was suspending reimbursements for services pending further review. The company said it believes the services rendered were valid, it took a reserve for revenue associated with the services given the uncertainty as to the amount of further reimbursements. Net losses for the quarter to Dec. 31 narrowed to $41.7 million, or 55 cents a share, from $49.9 million, or 70 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, FactSet said the company’s adjusted per-share loss of 24 cents missed the average analyst estimate for earnings per share of 12 cents. Revenue fell 1.1% to $122.5 million from $123.8 million, while the FactSet consensus was for a rise to $127.0 million. For the first quarter, the company expects revenue of $106 million to $109 million, below the FactSet consensus of $125.9 million. The stock has tumbled 59.3% over the past 12 months through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 SPX has shed 10.7%.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
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