NextLevel Systems Inc, one of three companies spun out of General Instrument earlier this year took a battering on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday after its chief executive resigned, it said it would miss analysts’ fourth quarter targets and would take a fourth quarter restructuring charge. Shares closed down $5.4375, or 28.8% at $13.4375. Chief executive Richard Friedland has been replaced by Edward Breen as president and acting CEO. Breen ran the company’s broadband networks group, which accounts for about 70% of the company’s revenues. For the half year to June 30 NextLevel recorded net sales of $858.4m and net income of $5.4m. The Chicago-based firm has called in Lazard Freres to advise it and is expected to slim down its satellite data networks group and evaluate alternatives for its advanced telephone products division, NextLevel Communications. Fourth quarter earnings are now expected to be between $0.09 and $0.11 per share before any charges. There will, however be such a charge, but the amount is unknown at the moment. NextLevel is perhaps best know as having a majority share of the analog cable set-top box markets worldwide and the slower than expected upgrading in the US cable market. Most analysts downgraded the stock to neutral or hold. Next Level says it now expects fiscal 1998’s earnings per share to be between $0.45 and $0.50, down from the $0.75 consensus.