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SonicBlue Q4 revenues collapse

Revenues down 45 per cent, loss balloons

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SonicBlue saw its year-on-year revenues halve today when it reported its Q4 2000 figures.

As SonicBlue, the company reported revenues of $99.2 million for the three months to 31 December 2000. This time last year it was still known as S3, and reported revenues of $180.5 million.

It's not hard to see why. In the intervening 12 months, SonicBlue has shut down or sold off many of the products the company was best known for. Gone are S3's 3D chip business and the Diamond Multimedia graphics card business. That alone took $9.8 million off the company's bottom line.

For the quarter SonicBlue lost $37.1 million (40 cents a share), but factor in special items, including "amortisation of goodwill, losses from the liquidation of short-term investments, losses from Rioport", and the loss totals $67.5 million (72 cents per share). During Q4 1999, it lost $6.9 milion.

For the year as a whole, SonicBlue achieved net income of $312.8 million ($3.12 per share) on revenues of $536.7 million. It hopes to realise revenues of around $400 million for the current fiscal year.

For fiscal 2001, SonicBlue is expecting good results from its Rio MP3 player business, which grew 24 per cent between Q3 and Q4 2000, and "captured a market share position in excess of 50% during the fourth quarter", according to CEO Ken Potashner.

And today SonicBlue bought ReplayTV, the TiVO-style digital VCR maker, in a stock swap. Ever acquisitive, the company also bought Sensory Science, which makes home AV products, such as digital TVs. The Sensory Science deal is worth around $8 million. ®

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