Corel puts spin on first-quarter loss

Summary:Executives at money-losing Corel Corp. acknowledge difficulties facing the company, but expressed optimism Thursday that its Java initiatives and overhauled consumer productivity tools will help bring up profits this year.

Executives at money-losing Corel Corp. acknowledge difficulties facing the company, but expressed optimism Thursday that its Java initiatives and overhauled consumer productivity tools will help bring up profits this year.

"I'm satisfied we're on the right course," said Corel Chief Financial Officer Michael O'Reilly during a conference call with reporters on the company's lackluster Q1 earnings report, also released Thursday.

Corel (COSFF) reported a net loss of $21.1 million on sales of $45.5 million, nearly double its loss in the same quarter last year.




Corel's time of troubles.


Corel CEO: Corel will rebound.




In the next few quarters, Corel will try to build momentum around its OpenJ and J Bridge Java-based product lines, and plans a push to boost consumer interest in its WordPerfect productivity suite, said Don Sylvester, senior vice president of sales.

OpenJ, announced at the JavaOne trade show this week, is a Web site development toolkit that lets users create Web content that leverages the development language without requiring them to do their own Java programming, Sylvester said. J Bridge is the company's thin client Java technology. Both are expected to ship this summer.

The latest version of the company's WordPerfect word processing tool, WordPerfect Suite 8, rolls out next month, and will feature Dragon Systems Inc.'s speech recognition technology, Sylvester added.

'We're coming out of a difficult transition year and clearly this takes time.'
-- Corel CEO Michael Cowpland

"The advent of the sub-$1,000 PC points to the emergence of the mass market product" for tools that can be used by a wide range of consumers, he said. "There is clearly a need for a product such as WordPerfect."

A positive sign for the productivity suite was Corel's first-quarter deal with PC maker Compaq Computer Corp. that will deliver WordPerfect to purchasers of the Presario consumer-model PC, company officials added.

Also during the press conference, Corel officials said rumors of a takeover bid by rival Adobe Systems Inc. are unfounded, and said the dour Q1 results will not force layoffs.

But the company's CEO acknowledged the problems Corel has had in finding a business focus.

"We're coming out of a difficult transition year and clearly this takes time," CEO Michael Cowpland said in a prepared statement.

The company has lost money for the past four quarters. In the fourth quarter of last year, Corel's loss was less than predicted, but the company was still forced to restate earnings for the first three quarters of the year.

Executives at money-losing Corel Corp. acknowledge difficulties facing the company, but expressed optimism Thursday that its Java initiatives and overhauled consumer productivity tools will help bring up profits this year.

"I'm satisfied we're on the right course," said Corel Chief Financial Officer Michael O'Reilly during a conference call with reporters on the company's lackluster Q1 earnings report, also released Thursday.

Corel (COSFF) reported a net loss of $21.1 million on sales of $45.5 million, nearly double its loss in the same quarter last year.




Corel's time of troubles.


Corel CEO: Corel will rebound.




In the next few quarters, Corel will try to build momentum around its OpenJ and J Bridge Java-based product lines, and plans a push to boost consumer interest in its WordPerfect productivity suite, said Don Sylvester, senior vice president of sales.

OpenJ, announced at the JavaOne trade show this week, is a Web site development toolkit that lets users create Web content that leverages the development language without requiring them to do their own Java programming, Sylvester said. J Bridge is the company's thin client Java technology. Both are expected to ship this summer.

The latest version of the company's WordPerfect word processing tool, WordPerfect Suite 8, rolls out next month, and will feature Dragon Systems Inc.'s speech recognition technology, Sylvester added.

'We're coming out of a difficult transition year and clearly this takes time.'
-- Corel CEO Michael Cowpland

"The advent of the sub-$1,000 PC points to the emergence of the mass market product" for tools that can be used by a wide range of consumers, he said. "There is clearly a need for a product such as WordPerfect."

A positive sign for the productivity suite was Corel's first-quarter deal with PC maker Compaq Computer Corp. that will deliver WordPerfect to purchasers of the Presario consumer-model PC, company officials added.

Also during the press conference, Corel officials said rumors of a takeover bid by rival Adobe Systems Inc. are unfounded, and said the dour Q1 results will not force layoffs.

But the company's CEO acknowledged the problems Corel has had in finding a business focus.

"We're coming out of a difficult transition year and clearly this takes time," CEO Michael Cowpland said in a prepared statement.

The company has lost money for the past four quarters. In the fourth quarter of last year, Corel's loss was less than predicted, but the company was still forced to restate earnings for the first three quarters of the year.

Topics: Software, PCs

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