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Caldera gets past 3Q forecasts but sales disappoint

Caldera posted a smaller-than-expected loss in its third quarter Tuesday but only a 9 percent improvement in total sales from the year-ago quarter.

In the quarter, the maker of Linux-based Internet software lost $7.5 million, or 19 cents a share, on sales of $1.2 million.

First Call Corp. consensus expected Caldera to lose 24 cents a share in the quarter.

Ahead of the earnings report, Caldera (Nasdaq: CALD) shares closed unchanged at 6 1/2.

The $1.2 million in sales marks only a 9 percent increase from the year-ago quarter when it lost $2.2 million, or 13 cents a share, on sales of $1.1 million.

Earlier this month, Caldera and Santa Cruz Operation (Nasdaq: SCOC) inked a deal to transfer control of several divisions of the Unix firm to Caldera.

Caldera acquired SCO's server software division and professional services division, both of which will become part of a new holding company, Caldera Inc.

SCO will have a 28 percent stake in Caldera Inc., which will be backed by $7 million cash and 17.54 million shares of Caldera Systems stock, worth about $121.7 million based on the stock's closing price on Aug. 2.

Caldera officials said the larger third-quarter loss was a result of additional infrastructure investments as well as increased advertising and marketing expenses. Other expenses were lower than expected, company executives said during a Tuesday afternoon conference call.

"We believe the integration of Linux/UNIX technologies will change the way business is conducted on the Internet," said CEO Ransom Love in a prepared release.

Services and products sold in conjunction with basic operating system offerings will boost margins in the long run, executives said during the conference call.

Last quarter, Caldera posted a loss of $9.2 million, or 32 cents a share, on sales of $1.4 million.

Caldera shares peaked at 33 shortly after its initial public offering in March. The stock fell to a low of 6 1/8 earlier this month.

Both analysts following the stock rate it a "hold."

-- Sergio G. Non contributed to this report.