Novell Reports Loss for Quarter

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-11-20 Print this article Print

Novell on Thursday reported a net loss of $109 million for the fourth fiscal quarter to end-October 2003, and compares to a net loss of $92 million.

Novell Inc., which earlier this year acquired developer Ximian Inc. and is in the process of acquiring SuSE Linux AG, on Thursday reported a net loss of $109 million or $0.29 a share. This loss included $130 million in non-recurring charges, principally to increase a valuation allowance for net deferred tax assets, for the fourth fiscal quarter to end-October 2003, and compares to a net loss of $92 million, or a $0.25 loss per share, for the fourth fiscal quarter of 2002. For the latest quarter, Novell reported revenues of $287 million, compared to revenues of $300 million for the fourth fiscal quarter 2002, and $283 million for the third fiscal quarter 2003.
For Novells the full fiscal 2003, the Provo, Utah company reported revenues of $1.1 billion and a net loss of $162 million, or $0.44 loss per share. Revenues for the full year fiscal 2002 were $1.1 billion and a net loss of $247 million, or $0.68 loss per share, was reported.
"We are pleased with the progress on operating profitability levels that we achieved in this quarter. Additionally, in our fourth quarter, we continued advancing toward many of the strategic goals we laid out at the beginning of our 2003 fiscal year," said Jack Messman, Novell chairman, president and chief executive officer, in a written statement released after the financial markets closed. "Building value for our shareholders has been a top priority for Novell during 2003. We feel that we are poised to enter fiscal year 2004 with a better positioned company in the marketplace," he said. But Novell faces some challenges in the coming year. Apart from integrating the Ximian and SuSE Linux teams into the organization and expanding its product line, the Linden, Utah-based The SCO Group this week said it is considering possible legal action against Novell once the networking company completes its recently announced acquisition of SuSE Linux. SCO claims that it holds a non-compete agreement with Novell from the time it purchased the Unix System V code from Novell, which has denied that claim. Because Linux is a variant of Unix, SCO CEO Darl McBride said in an interview with that he would consider Novell to be competing once it ships a Linux version from its SuSE acquisition. "Our core product is Unix; Linux is a knock off of Unix," McBride said. "By any stretch of the imagination this would be a competitive offering to our core product." Click here to read more of eWEEK.coms interview with SCO CEO Darl McBride. Editors note: Matt Hicks contributed to this report.
Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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