09.05.07

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Dana Blankenhorn: Novell is ‘Massaging’ Its Financial Figures

Posted in Finance, GNU/Linux, Novell, Red Hat, Ubuntu at 2:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

As you probably know, Novell has been in a poor financial state in recent years and it also missed Wall Street’s expectations earlier this year, not to mention its risk of being delisted — a risk that it eventually escaped. There was something very fishy about Novell’s latest financial report and we are fortunate enough to find people who look at the numbers more closely. Here is what it’s all about:

Novell is also good at PR. It has been talking about desktop Linux being just around the corner for years, without delivering anything worthwhile. No wonder I get such a hit to the numbers here for mentioning Ubuntu.

This continuing game of massaging numbers and expectations, rather than delivering solid performance or solid software, hurts the whole open source market.

Having covered Novell for two decades, I’m frankly tired of it. Wall Street, not so much. As long as there is action Wall Street is happy.

There is no room for opinion here, so there’s no need to say “hats off to Dana” or “you ignorant blogger”. What Dana is trying to say seems to align pretty well with what we’ve been seeing in recent months. In fact, given Novell’s inability to compete with Red Hat (it was only left further behind after its deal with Microsoft), any optimistic claims from the financial department are highly suspicious.

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5 Comments

  1. Alec Baldwin said,

    September 5, 2007 at 3:56 am

    Gravatar

    Clueless drivel. If you or Dana had any idea what you were talking about, I’d listen harder. But it’s clear from your posts that you simply have no idea what has been going on at Novell, and what is going on at Novell.

    FUD

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 5, 2007 at 4:04 am

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    Alec Baldwin, your past comments here were a case of trolling, which makes your counter argument weak. If I recall correctly, readers suspected that you were a shill.

  3. Alec Baldwin said,

    September 5, 2007 at 8:54 am

    Gravatar

    Just goes to show how wrong some of your readers can be then doesn’t it? A shill, I am not.

    I enjoy reading commentary about Novell and other IT vendors, but I tire of fud-spreading, self-regarding, self-publicising people like you.

    From reading [proper] analysts reports of Novell’s Q3 performance, they have delivered a slightly stronger than anticipated quarter. Haven’t set the world on fire, but didn’t set an expectation that they would, or that they wouldn’t. That’s pretty much it, is Dana annoyed that Novell delivered a slightly stronger than anticipated quarter? Apparently so. And then asserts, that it’s all smoke and mirrors, it’s “fishy”. Companies in a post-Enron world, don’t post fishy numbers. They are just the numbers.

    Saying something like “very fishy”, without any substance to back that up, is just FUD. You then go on – “There is no room for opinion here…” Of course there is… that’s just a plain stupid thing to say. Doesn’t the make up of the numbers warrant questions like: Is this a good result for Novell, or a bad result?

    “Given Novell’s inability to compete with Red Hat…” You defeat yourself at every turn. Do you have any idea which customers have, and are planning to adopt Suse Linux as a replacment for Red Hat? Clearly not.

    Tiresome, ill-informed posts like this just serve to remind me to review my SPAM filters…

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 5, 2007 at 9:09 am

    Gravatar

    Thank you for at least referring to substance rather than engaging in personal attacks this time.

    Let’s remember that Novell reported a loss (narrower than expected though) and also remember that surveys show Novell staying flat (according to one company’s figures) while Red Hat continues to rise sharply.

    Novell cannot grow its Linux business as quickly as its ‘legacy’ income declines. It has money to spend (roughly a billion dollars) and it is willing to spend it on acquisitions, not buybacks, based on Ron Hovsepian’s relatively recent interview. Based on that same interview, Novell has cut down its R&D budget. So, are we seeing a growing company? for all I can tell, Novell is the next Unisys. What’s worse, this dinosaur liaised with Microsoft to guarantee its imminent extinction. Until then, Novell will be nothing but an abused tool for Microsoft to milk.

  5. Ian said,

    September 5, 2007 at 12:00 pm

    Gravatar

    I can’t speak to the financial massaging. However he got a few things wrong. Novell does not have good PR. Second, what’s “without delivering anything worthwhile” about? SLED 10 is much better than Suse Pro 9.3. SLED is considered by some to be the most polished distro available. Is it really? Well, that’s a matter of opinion of course. And finally, Novell doesn’t deliver quality software? What’s he basing that on? What metrics does he use?

    My point is, there’s plenty to rip Novell for, but throwing shit against a wall and hoping something sticks isn’t good “reporting” or blogging in this case.

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