Gemstar shares off 26% as exec quits

Boylan exits as co. suffers fourth-quarter loss

NEW YORK — Gemstar-TV Guide shares plunged more than 26% to $16.04 Tuesday after the company reported a wider than anticipated fourth-quarter loss and announced the resignation of co-prexy and chief operating officer Pete Boylan.

The Pasadena company took a $5 billion accounting charge and also said license fees for its flagship interactive TV program guides may fall by 50% this year.

The earnings were released late Monday. On Tuesday, a judge representing the Intl. Trade Commission extended his review of a patent infringement suit Gemstar filed against EchoStar, Scientific Atlanta and Pioneer Corp. by three months, until June 21.

The delay could complicate Gemstar’s pending deals with major cable companies and put off any recovery of damages from a parallel federal civil suit for another quarter at least.

Gemstar, which is owned in part by News Corp., was downgraded by analysts at SoundView Technology, Salomon Smith Barney, CIBC WorldMarkets and Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown.

(Reuters contributed to this story.)

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