Network Associates saw its stock take a 68 percent nose dive the week of Dec. 25, after it forecast fourth-quarter losses of $130 million to $140 million, laying most of the blame on a backlog in sales inventories fueled by shrinking IT budgets and a shaky economic outlook.
The same week, the companys top three executives, including Chairman and CEO William Larson, announced their resignations. Larson and Chief Financial Officer Prabhat Goyal, who also is resigning, will remain until replacements are found. President and Chief Operating Officer Peter Watkins resigned, effective Dec. 31.
The stock dropped from $11.75 a share to $3.75 after the announcement, and analysts downgraded the companys rating.
Napster Offers 2.0 Update
Napster, a company whose music-swapping service rattled the music industry and put the issue of copyright and the Internet on center stage, isnt letting a little thing like a possibly fatal federal court decision slow it down. The company last week released an upgraded version of its software—called Napster 2.0 Beta 8—that company officials say makes it easier for consumers to find songs and singers on the Napster site.
All this was done while Napster awaited a ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is reviewing another judges decision to block the trading of copyrighted music through Napsters software.
EarthWeb Sells Sites
In 1998, EarthWeb became one of the first Internet-based businesses to make a killing on Wall Street with its IPO.
Last week, the company, which created community Web sites, sold 14 of those sites—including EarthWeb.com—and 18 e-mail newsletters to internet.com. EarthWeb executives said they will continue as a recruiting company for IT workers.
Founded in 1994, the company had its initial public offering four years later, with a stock that started at $14 and jumped to $67 three days after the IPO. Hamstrung by the same economic issues that have dogged other high-tech companies over the past year, EarthWebs stock had plummeted, finishing at $7.50 on the day of the sales announcement.