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Corel manages a good quarter

Despite a difficult year marked by product delays, Corel reports a fourth-quarter profit largely driven by WordPerfect sales.

Despite a difficult year marked by product delays, software maker Corel (COSFF) today announced a fourth-quarter profit largely driven by WordPerfect sales.

The maker of office suite software said its earnings were $6.5 million, or 9 cents a share, for the quarter--an improved performance from its loss of $1 million or 2 cents a share a year ago.

The earnings were in line with analysts expectations. Revenues reached $125.4 million for the quarter, up 102 percent from a year ago.

"Strong fourth quarter sales--an incredible gain from the same quarter in 1995--point to a banner year in 1997," said Michael Cowpland, president and chief executive officer, in a statement. "Besides looking forward to continued success with our world-leading graphics line, in particular CorelDraw 7, we will continue to focus on providing innovative and feature-rich business applications software and maximizing the benefits of open standards through our strategic alliance with Netscape."

Cowpland said his company was pleased with its quarterly results, despite posting a loss for the year. The company reported a net loss of $2.8 million, or 4 cents a share, for the year ended November 30, compared to net profits of $14.4 million or 26 cents a share a year earlier.

During the third quarter, for example, the company posted a loss because it couldn't fulfill orders for its Office Professional 7, its high-end suite that it had planned to ship in late August.

The delay was caused by too many bugs in the software and the work involved in integrating recently acquired products, Cowpland had said at the time.

Putting the troubles of last year behind, the company said it plans to launch into 1997 with its flagship graphics product, CorelDraw, while increasing its market share with such products as Corel WordPerfect Suite 8, Corel Office Professional 8, and Corel WordPerfect 7 for Windows 3.1.

The company also plans to launch Corel Office for Java and the CorelVideo Network Computer, which will be bundled with Corel Office for Java, early in the year.