Feeds

Novell muddles through fiscal Q4

Revenues down, profits impenetrable

The next step in data security

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.