Bonum Certa Men Certa

Do-No-Evil Saturday - Part I: Novell's Finance (An Optimistic Look Back)

Looking back at last weekend, there's this article from Jacqueline Emigh about Novell's deal and its role in Novell's poor results.

The Linux vendor partners with Microsoft in one respect and takes it head-on in another. This time, the results aren't too pleasing as Novell suffers a small quarterly loss.


Also for the fourth quarter, Novell's sales of identity and access management software stepped up 27 percent, to $30 million. Rising more modestly -- at levels of five percent and 1 percent, respectively -- were Novell's revenues from systems and resource management software and workgroup software.

Motley Fool, a Microsoft-associated Web site, recommends buying NOVL.

In other and more material news, the company doesn't see eye to eye with Mr. Market on the caliber of fiscal 2007. "We believe our financial results for the quarter and the full year are very positive and show great progress," CFO Dana Russell said on the earnings call. Both non-GAAP earnings and sales came in above management guidance and Wall Street estimates.

BloggingStocks claims that Novell is still in transition mode, so faith must be kept. There's talk about buybacks nonetheless.

However, with $1.3 billion in the bank -- which represents more than half of Novell's market cap -- there will likely be pressure from investors, such as for buybacks.

Ovum says that Novell is focusing at profitability at the expense of growth. This might explain the looming (and misfortunate) layoffs.

It expects fiscal 2008 revenue growth to be flat, with revenue in the range of $920 to $945m, but ambitions to deliver non-GAAP annual operating margin of between 7% and 9% (up from 4% in fiscal 2007). It expects service revenue to keep shrinking as it completes the alignment of its services business with its four product business units, but anticipates higher margin product sales to make up for the loss.

ComputerWeekly quotes Ron Hovsepian for an optimistic perspective.

"We are pleased with our overall results for 2007. While undergoing transformational change, we grew revenue and exceeded our operating targets. We are on the right path to long-term, sustainable profitability," said Ron Hovsepian, president and CEO of Novell.

Trading Markets seemed fairly neutral and balanced. It only delivered the figures.

Novell, Inc. (NASDAQ: NOVL), up .42% on 9 million shares, Friday announced financial results for its fourth fiscal quarter and full fiscal year ended Oct. 31, 2007. For the quarter, Novell reported net revenue of $245 million, which excludes $6 million of revenue from its Swiss-based business consulting unit, which Novell agreed to sell during the quarter. This compares to net revenue of $234 million for the fourth fiscal quarter 2006. The loss from operations for the fourth fiscal quarter 2007 was $13 million, compared to income from operations of $4 million for the fourth fiscal quarter 2006.

Motley Fool explained that Novell's problem is mostly to do with its reliance on legacy products.

The stock chart here looks like Novell's -- except it's magnified by higher volatility. The twosome have common goals in the market for Linux software, but Novell is buffered by the slowly decaying NetWare product line.

The big question remains: how quickly (if at all) can Novell grow its GNU/Linux and open source business?

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