Feeds

Novell muddles through fiscal Q4

Revenues down, profits impenetrable

Boost IT visibility and business value

Software maker Novell – which is in the process of selling itself to Attachmate and Microsoft for $2.2bn – reported its financial results for its fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 ended October 31. Rather than face a lot of pesky questions from Wall Street analysts, the top brass at the company ducked out and just pumped out a press release.

Novell didn't do too badly in Q4, all things considered, with sales only down 4.2 per cent to $206.5m. Software license sales were $31.3m, down a smidgen from the year-ago quarter. Maintenance and subscription sales were off 4.2 per cent, mirroring license declines, at $153.3m, and services revenues fell by 9.7 per cent to just under $22m. In the quarter, Novell booked $308m in non-cash tax benefits related to "certain net deferred tax assets," which would have been interesting to explain.

So while Novell only booked $22.1m in income from operations, it showed a $322.2m in net earnings. In the year-ago quarter, Novell posted $279m in impairment charges for goodwill and intangible assets related to a number of acquisitions, leading the company to book a $255.7m net loss in Q4 of fiscal 2009. If you look at non-GAAP income from operations, Novell was at $38.2m this quarter and $37m a year ago. (As a matter or principle, non-GAAP numbers are to be detested, as are unexplained benefits or huge charges that dwarf quarterly revenue.)

"I am pleased with our fourth quarter performance," said Ron Hovsepian, president and chief executive officer at Novell, in the statement. "We continue to see strong performance from our Linux business with invoicing for Linux, excluding Microsoft certificates, up over 40 per cent from the year ago period and the prior fiscal year. We also saw some stabilization in the collaboration solutions business with invoicing decreasing 3 per cent over the year ago period."

For all of fiscal 2010, Novell had $811.9m in revenues, down 5.8 per cent. Because of all of the benefits and impairments, Novell had a $378m net income on its books this year, compared to a $212.7m loss a year ago. These are silly numbers that do not reflect the current state of the Novell business.

Novell ended the quarter with $1.1bn in cash and equivalents as the quarter came to a close, which is one of the reasons why Attachmate wants to get its hands on Novell and can afford to acquire the distributor of NetWare, SUSE Linux, and other products.

In the fourth quarter, Novell booked $36.3m in Linux subscription and maintenance revenues, down 7 per cent. For the year, Linux revenues hit $144.4m, down 3.2 per cent. NetWare sales fell by 4.5 per cent, to $41.6m in Q4, and fell by 6.8 per cent for the full fiscal year, to $165.6m. ®

Best practices for enterprise data

More from The Register

next story
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?