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White Pine grows loss

The videoconferencing software maker's second-quarter earnings are weighed down by unpopular products.

    Weighed down by unpopular products, White Pine Software (WPNE) reported a growing second-quarter net loss as it rebuilds its executive team and takes charges relating to its reorganization.

    White Pine reported a net loss of $2.5 million, or 27 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $926,000, or 16 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

    A restructuring charge of $661,000, relating to a previously announced companywide reorganization, is included in the net loss. Excluding the charge, the net loss would have been $1.8 million, or 20 cents per share. Analysts expected a loss of 21 cents a share, according to First Call.

    In June, White Pine announced a companywide reorganization that included laying off 26 employees, or 20 percent of the company's workforce.

    For the quarter ending July 4, revenue was $2.6 million, down from $2.8 million in the second quarter of 1996.

    The company previously said it was reviewing its business and products. It said the reorganization would allow it to focus on products like Enhanced CU-SeeMe and the White Pine Reflector, a client-server solution that allows users to participate in real-time videoconferencing over the Internet and intranets.

    But not everyone is convinced the shaving off of some products will do the trick in advancing the company in the videoconferencing market.

    "A number of low-end product introductions, like White Pine's, have created confusion in the marketplace," Herb Maher, an analyst with the Advest Group told CNET's NEWS.COM in an earlier interview. "These products are not satisfactory for a meaningful business communication."

    Yesterday, White Pine's board of directors approved Killko Caballero as president. Caballero was named acting president in June 1997 and was previously senior vice president of research and development and chief technology officer. The board also approved the appointment of Christine Cox as vice president of finance. Cox was previously the company's corporate controller.

    In June, the company's chairman, president, and chief executive Howard Berke resigned.