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Netpliance post 3Q loss, restructures

Netpliance, Inc. (Nasdaq: NPLI) fell short of analyst estimates Friday, when the company also announced it would reorganize and slash its workforce by 38 percent.

Shares of the Internet consumer appliance company, which made its public debut in March, were off 0.06 to 1.56 at market close yesterday.

Net loss for the third quarter was $41.9 million, or 69 cents per share. First Call Corp. expected a loss of 46 cents a share.

Total revenue for the third quarter came in at $3.8 million, including $230,000 in device sales, $3.4 million of subscription revenue and $195,000 in peripheral sales. Revenue from all sources declined sequentially from the second quarter due to a slowdown in sales of the company's i-opener service.

Netpliance announced a shift in its business strategy from that of a direct consumer Internet appliance service to provider of infrastructure and managed services. Two new units, Netpliance.net and Netpliance Infrastructure Products Group (IPG), will be created.

Netpliance also scaled back its purchase order with Quanta Computer, which resulted in a cancellation fee of $6.3 million in the third quarter.

Also Friday, Netpliance said it would cut 93 jobs, or about 38 percent. The company expects to save $5.4 million annually with the move and will take a one-time restructuring charge of $2.5 million to $3.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2000.

As of the end of the third quarter, Netpliance had $76.6 million in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments.

Separately, the company announced a deal with AT&T (NYSE: T)that will put AT&T's WorldNet Service in Netpliance's i-opener2001 product. The new service will be launched after Thanksgiving.