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Corel plunges on earnings, drags Inprise down too

Corel (Nasdaq: CORL) skidded 23 percent Tuesday after posting a wider-than-expected loss in its first quarter.

Shares were down 3 1/16 to 10 5/16. The Canadian software developer lost $12.4 million, or 19 cents a share, on sales of $44.1 million. First Call consensus had expected a loss of 16 cents a share in the quarter. Corel reported earnings after the closing bell on Monday.

Inprise Corp (Nasdaq: INPR), which had agreed to merge with Corel, also took a fall; shares were down 21 percent, or 1 7/8 to 6 27/32. Corel chief Michael Cowpland said he is confident of merger plans with Inprise despite protests from two shareholders. Corel shareholders are expected to vote on the deal in mid- to late-May.

Corel rattled off new buzzwords Monday after its earnings release, but couldn't get investors excited. Corel said it expects results in the next two quarters to mirror the first-quarter financials, based on its revenue and cost structures.

Corel said Linux sales brought in $2.3 million during the first quarter, down from $3.2 million in the fourth quarter.

Last quarter, Corel met analysts' reduced estimates after issuing a profit warning.

At the time, Cowpland attributed the shortfall to problems with shipments of its Windows software and said the company should be given a valuation similar to Linux star Red Hat (Nasdaq: RHAT).