Novell Slips on Loss, Revenue Outlook

Novell (Nasdaq: NOVL) was at US$7.53 in morning trading Friday, down 47 cents, following reports that the software maker expects a big drop in revenue for the year.

The Provo, Utah-based company also reported a net loss for the first quarter of 2001 ended January 31st of $7.77 million, or 2 cents per share, compared with net income of $44.84 million, or 13 cents, in the year-earlier quarter. Revenue slipped to $245 million from $316 million.

Novell said last year’s first quarter benefited from “especially strong software license purchases” as customers geared up for the year 2000 date change.

“While we anticipate poor year-over-year comparisons through the first half of fiscal 2001, we are making progress as we transition to becoming a Net services software company,” Novell chairman and chief executive officer Eric Schmidt said. “In the second half of the year, we intend to return to growth as the impact of our transformation to a Net services company becomes more visible.”

Executives on a conference call reportedly said full-year revenue could be 16 percent below 2000, while earnings per share could drop to 17 or 18 cents, from 55 cents, in 2000.

Deliveries of Novell’s traditional packaged software dropped 62 percent year-over-year, while the company’s large network site-license business grew by $9 million year-over-year, to $184 million.

Net management services, directory services and consulting all saw revenue declines in the quarter, the company said.

Novell’s results for the last fiscal year were also below the previous year, as a restructuring charge and lower software sales cut into earnings.

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