Bonum Certa Men Certa

Final Analysis of Novell's Q1 Results and Consequences

Novell cafe



Summary: More evidence that Novell suffers from the Microsoft deal, but the company's CEO takes bonuses

ACCORDING TO "The Var Guy", who has been in good touch with Novell for over a year, Novell is heading down.

Check out the one-year stock charts for Novell (NOVL) and Red Hat (RHT). Neither chart is particularly impressive, but the trends are unmistakable. As the economy went from bad to worse in calendar year 2008, Wall Street lost more and more faith in Novell. In stark contrast, sometime in late November 2008 — amid heightened credit crunch concerns — financial pundits started betting heavier and heavier on Red Hat shares.


The comments in Linux Today show that many GNU/Linux users are actually encouraged by Novell's demise. Here is one response to Novell's excuses:

Maybe the business world really does not want to do business with Novell. Maybe business customers really do think about the implications of Novell's deal with Microsoft.


In addition to what we've already referenced, here are some more financial analyses:



One issue that we have looked at before is the excessive bonuses that Ron Hovsepian is receiving [1, 2, 3]. The following essay is dedicated to this problem.

What Novell Could Learn From HP About How to Treat Employees



[...]

[C]ontrast this with the recent announcements of layoffs at Massachusetts-based software vendor Novell. Earlier this month, they laid off approximately 100 employees due to a "global economic downturn." I have to wonder how many of those jobs could have been saved if Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian had declined to accept the sum total of his $6.9 million compensation package last year.

I mean, it's not as if he didn't see the potential for layoffs coming. In a December 4, 2008, conference call with analysts he is quoted as saying, "I think we are just evaluating at this point any additional restructures or activities that may take place in 2009, and those would be largely dependent on the overall economic condition and its impact to our revenues, if any."

In other words, the writing was on the wall late last year but he still grabbed his share of the pie.


Ron Hovsepian will find it hard to dodge criticism, which now comes from IDG as well. Financial News USA covered it also.

Ronald Hovsepian, the president and chief executive of networking software maker Novell Inc., received a compensation package valued at nearly $6.9 million, according to a proxy statement filed Wednesday. The total was down more than 5 percent from Hovsepian's 2007 compensation of nearly $7.3 million.Hovsepian, who has served as CEO of Waltham, Mass.-based Novell since 2006, received a base salary of $912,214 and $2 million in cash incentive plan compensation, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.His perquisites totaled $137,014 and included $9,200 in 401(k) contributions from the company, $112,244 in deferred compensation matching contributions and $6,263 for financial planning.


What is he being rewarded for?

In other financial news, Novell's CFO will present at Morgan Stanley's 2009 Technology Conference.

Novell, Inc. (NASDAQ: NOVL) today announced that Dana Russell, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Novell, will present at the Morgan Stanley 2009 Technology Conference, March 2-4, 2009 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. Russell's presentation will begin at 2:20pm PST on Tuesday, March 3.


There was also a delay.

Company representatives of Novell Inc will be presenting at the 2009 Morgan Stanley Technology Conference today. The Company's presentation is scheduled to begin at 17:20 ET.


Novell was also mentioned very briefly in the financial press under:



In its conversations last week, Novell confirmed that layoffs are coming, but it used cryptic terminology to 'dress up' the statement. Novell cannot operate at a loss forever. It can only delay the inevitable.

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