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Liberate posts wider Q1 loss

Thu, 09/26/2002 - 8:00pm
Susan Rush

Interactive software developer Liberate Technologies posted a wider year-over-year first quarter loss. The company cited the weakness in the cable and telecom sectors for the dip.

The company reported a net loss of $249.6 million, or $2.35 a share, compared with a year-earlier net loss of $78 million, or 74 cents a share. Excluding $209.3 million write-off related to the impairment of goodwill, Liberate would have posted a loss of $16.8 million, or 16 cents a share, compared to a loss of $9.2 million, or 9 cents share a year ago.

Revenue fell 40 percent from $17.3 million in Q1 2002 to $10.3 million. During the quarter, Liberate reduced its work force by 110 employees.

"Adverse economic conditions within the cable and telecommunications sectors have materially impacted our quarterly revenue," said Liberate Chairman and CEO Mitchell Kertzman. "We were disappointed that the market fell off more quickly than we had anticipated and we are working to improve our ability to anticipate our quarterly revenue," he said. In June the company had forecast pro forma revenue of between $12 million and $14 million.

Earlier this week, Shaw Communications announced it will power its video-on-demand service with Liberate's software platform.

Looking ahead, Liberate is forecasting a fiscal second-quarter net loss, excluding charges, of between 12 cents and 16 cents a share. Analyst consensus loss estimates are 11 cents a share, according to Thomson First Call.

Liberate shares were down 10 cents, or 5.8 percent, to $1.61 as of 12:18 p.m. EDT.

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