Stac edges back towards profit

But it's a long while since its 15 minutes of fame...

Stac has reported its Q4 results, with revenue for the quarter up 28 per cent on the year-earlier quarter, and 7 per cent on the previous quarter. Revenue increased quarter by quarter through the financial year. The net loss for continuing operations was $221,000, but after restructuring costs Stac would have been just in profit. A year earlier, the quarterly loss was $7.8 million. During the last quarter, Stac included a valuation allowance for deferred tax assets, with a one-time charge of $6.4 million for income taxes. Stac has around $30 million in cash and no debt, or some $5 per share. With the share price at $3.625 (closing 5 per cent down last night) this is rather remarkable. During the financial year, Stac spun-off its semiconductor subsidiary and paid a dividend to shareholders. John Ticer, Stac's CEO, said he thought the company was now well-positioned for growth in the new fiscal year, with a product line based on support for the remote recovery of unmanaged remote systems. Stac's 15 minutes of fame came in 1993 when it sued Microsoft after its demand for a worldwide license to use Stac's software as part of DOS. Microsoft steadfastly refused to pay Stac any royalty for its patented data-compression technology and simply incorporated Stac's intellectual property directly into DOS. After a four week trial and a less-than-stellar performance in the witness box by Gates, a federal jury found Microsoft guilty of infringing Stac's data compression patents and awarded Stac $120 million in damages. Microsoft settled the case by acquiring a 15 per cent interest in Stac, and obtained a license to Stac's vital data compression technology for a fraction of the jury's verdict. ®

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