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Caldera loss exceeds estimate

The Linux software seller reports a greater-than-expected shortfall, another sign of the sour investment climate surrounding the open-source operating system.

Linux software seller Caldera International reported a greater-than-expected loss Wednesday, another sign of the sour investment climate surrounding the open-source operating system.

For its second fiscal quarter, ended April 30, the company posted a net loss of $11.7 million, or 29 cents a share, according to Caldera's statement. The lone analyst following the company had predicted a loss of 23 cents a share, according to First Call. The loss figure includes a charge of $4.3 million related to investment losses.

Caldera lost 32 cents a share in the same period a year ago and 25 cents a share in the previous quarter.

Revenue was up 17 percent from a year ago, to $1.6 million, according to the statement.

Like other Linux companies, Caldera has faced an increasingly difficult challenge as investors have left their initial giddiness for Linux behind. The company went public in March 2000 at $14 a share and recently has been trading below $2.

Caldera laid off 32 employees--17 percent of its work force--in April as it prepared to complete its acquisition of Santa Cruz Operations' Unix business. The SCO acquisition is part of Caldera's strategy to cover a wide range of server-software needs, from low-end servers running Linux to high-end systems with Unix.

The company predicts a third-quarter shortfall of $14 million to $15 million, including $1.5 million to $2 million of restructuring costs related to the SCO acquisition, according to the statement.