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Broadvision warns of a wide earnings miss

The Web site software maker says it will miss second-quarter expectations by a wide margin and announces the resignation of Chief Financial Officer Randall Bolten.

Web site software maker Broadvision said Tuesday that it will miss second-quarter expectations by a wide margin, posting a loss of between 17 cents and 20 cents per share.

The company also announced the resignation of its chief financial officer, Randall Bolten, who has been with the company since its start-up days in 1995. Corporate treasurer Terry Davis has been named interim CFO while a search for a permanent replacement has been launched.

The news sent shares plunging, down 75 cents, or 16 percent, to $4.18 in early trading. And the warning, coming on top of layoff news from Art Technology Group, helped send down other software vendors, with Art Technology falling 8 cents to $4.72, Interwoven dropping $1.10 to $17.23 and Vignette slipping 46 cents to $8.90.

Analysts had been expecting the company to report a loss of around 11 cents per share, according to the First Call consensus. Wall Street was also looking for revenue of about $84.8 million, but the company said Tuesday that sales for the quarter, which ended June 30, will be between $52 million and $58 million.

"Our results were affected again in the second quarter by a continued slowness in the economy," CEO Pehong Chen said in a release.

He warned that if economic conditions do not improve in the second half of the year, "we are prepared to make additional adjustments in our spending policies and staffing levels."

Broadvision had cut its work force by about 32 percent, or 695 employees, from March to June. That's in sharp contrast to hiring rates just seven months ago, when the company announced it had boosted its number of workers by 14 percent from the September quarter.

Stock price from July 2000 to present.  
Source: Prophet Finance
The cuts come on top of a reduction in force of about 15 percent announced in April. Bolten said Tuesday that the charges related to the restructuring would be "at least double" the original estimate of $30 million to $50 million, but added that they will not have a "significant further impact" on cash flows.

BroadVision has a cash balance of around $200 million, down from $250 million in the first quarter, executives said on a conference call Tuesday.

Bolten added that the company was able to reduce operating expenses for the quarter and that they will be below the $100 million predicted in the first-quarter conference call.

This is the third quarter in a row that the Redwood City, Calif., company has either warned of a shortfall or missed expectations.

"People are just reluctant to write the checks," Chen said in the conference call.

Sales were particularly difficult for the company's e-commerce software applications, in "a reflection of the post-bubble syndrome," he said.

"People are very reluctant to invest in an e-business initiative where, in the past, they haven't seen (an immediate impact) from that investment," he said.

Broadvision will announce the details of its second-quarter results and the outlook for the remainder of the fiscal year on July 25.