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Wang analysts see silver lining

Wang reports a widening third-quarter loss, but analysts say the company is headed in the right direction.

Wang Laboratories (WANG) today reported a widening third-quarter loss, but analysts say the company is headed in the right direction since emerging from bankruptcy.

Wang's bottom line showed a net loss of $26.4 million, or 82 cents a share, for the quarter ending September 30--larger than its loss of $20.7 million, or 68 cents a share, posted last year. Analysts' estimates had projected a loss of 2 cents a share, according to First Call.

The loss includes a $29.1 million charge for the acquisition of I-NET, now the outsourcing and systems integration arm for the software company.

Wang CEO Joseph Tucci said in a prepared statement that he was optimistic that I-NET will be a boost for his company, which emerged from bankruptcy in 1993.

Analysts are equally enthusiastic. "Earnings are a bit below what I expected," said Thomas Browne, vice president at Prudential Securities Research. "But this is a management team focused on building and bringing out shareholder value. They've really remade the company since [the bankruptcy]."

Once a leading hardware manufacturer, Wang filed for bankruptcy in 1992 when the market for its proprietary minicomputer systems disappeared.

Still struggling to get back to profitability, the company is trying to sell its digital imaging unit to Eastman Kodak for a reported $250 to 300 million. In March, Kodak announced it would use Wang software for its Imagelink document management software solutions. The company also got a vote of confidence in April 1995 when Microsoft became part owner by purchasing $90 million in Wang stock.

Revenues for the quarter reached $290.7 million, compared to $264.2 million for the year-ago period. Yearly losses have also dropped from $197 million in 1993 to $58 million in 1995.