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SCO keeps chugging along in Q3

Mr. Clean happy with quarter

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The distractions of a sweeping attack on the Linux community did not prevent licensing company The SCO Group from upping its profits in the third quarter.

SCO reported net income of $3.1 million on revenue of $20.1 million for the period ended July 31. This compares to a net loss of $4.5 million and revenue of $15.4 million in the same quarter a year ago.

In the recent third quarter, SCO pulled in $12.8 million from operating system revenue, while its SCOsource licensing operation only chipped in $7.3 million.

SCO expects revenue for the fourth quarter to be in the range of $22 to $25 million. The company is clearly hoping more than a few customers will sign up for its Linux user cleaning program.

SCO says one Fortune 500 company has already asked for the cleanliness license but won't reveal the customer's name. Microsoft, however, does come to mind. Keeping its lone Linux IP licensee a secret is not the boldest move for a company full of bold claims. A little transparency would be helpful here.

Another tidbit that SCO's financial results bring up is the meteoric rise in the company's stock since it filed suit against IBM earlier this year. In the third quarter, SCO employees sold 88,000 shares of stock. Two other executives sold 29,616 shares in "approved open trading windows." Executives may sell up to 141,000 shares in the upcoming quarter as well.

These practices are in keeping with those of other companies, however, SCO employees are certainly benefitting from an unusual surge in their share price. IBM charges in its countersuit against SCO that hiking the stock price may have been one motivation in starting the Linux licensing crusade.

Frank Hayes at Computerworld also has a must read piece on how SCO has benefitted from the stock surge in other ways. ®

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