* Q3 EPS breakeven vs C$0.02 loss last year
* Q3 rev up 22 pct C$16.6 mln
* Sees strong Q4
May 3 (Reuters) - Canada's Absolute Software Corp ABT.TO narrowed loss for its third quarter, but the data protection software company said it performed lower than its own expectations hurt by a slowdown in sales growth.
"The PC refresh cycle has yet to gain real traction in the commercial market and overall spending in that segment remains muted, which resulted in lower-than-expected performance in the quarter," Chief Executive John Livingston said in a statement.
However, the company said its fourth quarter is off to a strong start and it is optimistic about its outlook for fiscal 2011.
"We believe our current customer base provides a solid foundation for growth in fiscal 2011," the company said.
For the quarter ended March 31, the company posted a net loss of C$32,000 or breakeven a share, compared with a net loss of C$1.1 million, or 2 Canadian cents a share last year.
Excluding stock-based compensation, the company posted income of C$463,000.
Revenue for the quarter rose 22 percent to C$16.6 million.
The company, which warned of a 5 percent to 10 percent drop in sales contracts for the quarter affected by a delay in purchase decisions by commercial customers, said sales contracts fell 11 percent to C$15 million.
Shares of the company closed at C$4.44 Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Arnika Thakur in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)