Netscape Records a Loss for Q4 and the Year

Netscape Communications Corp. has reported a fourth-quarter net loss of US$20.8 million, or 22 cents per share, excluding one-time charges related to mergers and restructuring. Including those charges, the loss for the period, was $88.3 million, or 92 cents per share.

Netscape Communications Corp. has reported a fourth-quarter net loss of US$20.8 million, or 22 cents per share, excluding one-time charges related to mergers and restructuring. Including those charges, the loss for the period, was $88.3 million, or 92 cents per share.

Revenue for the quarter, ended Dec. 31, was $125.3 million.

The charges for the quarter included $56.3 million related to purchased in-process R&D and to mergers, as well as $23 million in restructuring costs. During the three-month period, Netscape moved to acquire Kiva Software Corp. and Actra Business Systems LLC.

For the fourth quarter a year ago, the company reported net income of $8.2 million, or 9 cents per share, on revenue of $115.2 million, 9 percent less revenue than reported for the quarter this year.

For the year, the company posted a net loss of $115.5 million, or $1.23 per share, on revenue of $533.9 million, including charges and restructuring costs. Excluding those one-time charges, net income for 1997 was $4.7 million, or 5 cents per share, compared to $24.4 million, or 27 cents per share, on revenue of $346.3 million, for 1996. Revenue grew by 54 percent year-over-year.

In a statement, Netscape blamed the losses on a decline in stand-alone client revenue, particularly in Europe and Asia, and competitive pricing pressure on its enterprise software and services, as well as longer sales cycles associated with enterprise software.

Netscape had warned on Jan. 5 that it expected to post a net loss of $14 million to $18 million, or 15 to 19 cents per share, for the fourth quarter and $115 million for the year, and announced plans to cut staff and consolidate plants as part of a restructuring.

Last week, Netscape announced it was releasing for free its browser and Communicator client suite and source code for the upcoming Communicator 5.0, due to developers by the end of the first quarter of 1998, as well as allowing PC makers and Internet service providers to freely distribute the browser software.

Analysts surveyed by First Call Corp. predicted Netscape would lose 16 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 1997. A year ago, Netscape reported earnings of 10 cents per share for the quarter.

Netscape, based in Mountain View, California, can be reached at +1-650-254-1900 or on the World Wide Web at http://www.netscape.com/.

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