Borland makes another profit

After two consecutive quarters in the black, Borland International Inc.'s chief executive is not ready to declare his troubled company out of the woods just yet—but he's getting close.

"We're on track with our plan, but a turnaround takes six to eight quarters to happen," said Del Yocam. "We still have to make it happen."

Earlier Tuesday, Borland confounded Wall Street with an upside surprise, turning in its second consecutive profitable quarter. The oft-struggling software company earned $1.5 million during its second fiscal quarter. Last year, Borland lost $14.3 million, or 40 cents per share, during the second quarter. This year's earnings of three cents per share exceeded the predictions of Wall Street analysts, who were expecting the company to break even.

Sales rose to $42.5 million, up from $39.3 million in the year-ago quarter. The company said its JBuilder tools software had done particularly well.

The string of good news affords Yocam, who took over as Borland's top executive in December, something few of his predecessors had: breathing room.

Borland's return to profitability comes hand in hand with a sharp reduction in the company's expenses. Borland laid off about 30 percent of its workforce in February as part of a worldwide restructuring plan. That helped the company break into the black after four straight negative quarters.

"We're not flying by the seat of our pants anymore," he said. "Each and every quarter we have to make sure we perform. We're not taking anything for granted yet."

Yocam said Borland's quarterly expenses should range between $35 million and $36 million.

He added that the company expected to maintain its gross profit margins, which rose to 85 percent from 80 percent in the same quarter a year ago.

"As we go into the enterprise space, we hope that they continue to grow," he added.

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