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Loss narrows at Liberate

Thu, 06/27/2002 - 8:00pm
Susan Rush

Liberate Technologies Inc. has posted a narrower year-over-year quarterly loss, which is in line with the Street's expectations.

The interactive TV platform provider posted a net loss of $68.5 million, or 64 cents a share, down from a net loss of $79.5 million, or 76 cents a share, in the comparable period a year earlier. The loss was in line with Liberate's revised June 11 forecast.

Revenue was up 23 percent to $19 million. On a pro forma basis, Liberate posted revenue of $21 million.

As of May 31, the company had more than three million deployments worldwide — up from 2.8 million at the end of the previous quarter. Liberate said earlier this year that it expects interactive TV deployments to accelerate through 2003, with the majority of North American cable customers opting for its more simplified ITV platform. Although the company still believes its customers are still moving forward with the delivery of new digital services, reductions in capital spending and financial restructuring is causing some customers to deploy more slowly than anticipated, said Mitchell Kertzman, Liberate's chairman and CEO.

Investors were relatively unmoved by Liberate's results. As of 10:55 a.m. EDT, Liberate shares were up 5 cents to $2.55.

Earlier this month, Liberate announced it was joining forces with Samsung Electronics Co. to deliver interactive television programming over DSL networks via a new digital set-top box, the SMT-F240.

The SMT-F240, which is based on Liberate's TV Navigator 4.0 software, supports MPEG over IP-based delivery of interactive video programs. The set-top supports MPEG 2, but can be upgraded to support MPEG 4. The box incorporates National Semiconductor's x86-based Geode CPU running at 266 megahertz and uses the Linux operating system.

The Liberate/Samsung box offers video-on-demand, interactive games, bilingual news tickers and a music eTV application, which combines a video jukebox with virtual television channels that deliver on-demand music content.

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