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 eWEEK.com 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."
Editors note: Matt Hicks contributed to this report.