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Corel reports $21 million loss

Corel's losses keep spiraling, but executives at the software maker say the company is headed toward stable ground.

Corel's (COSFF) losses keep spiraling, but executives at the software maker say the company is headed toward stable ground.

Corel reported a first quarter loss of $21.1 million, or 36 cents per share, on revenues of $45.5 million. The loss is more than double a shortfall reported in the same period one year ago, when the company posted a loss of $11.2 million on sales of $80.7 million.

Corel suffered a series of loss-making quarters last year, and finally restated all of 1997's results in the fourth quarter of last year.

The company has also been hit with a pair of shareholder lawsuits in the past months. The latest, filed in New York on March 9, alleged the money-losing firm had artificially inflated the stock price by misrepresenting the business from March 26, 1997 to January 20, 1998.

Company executives today said that despite the deep losses, the company is now on the right track. "We're coming out of a difficult transition year and clearly this takes time," Michael Cowpland, president and CEO of Corel, said in a statement.

The company is pinning its hopes, in part, to a renewed Java strategy. After shelving an earlier scheme to build an all-Java application package, Corel this week rolled out its much anticipated Java-based technology for building Web-based applications. Called Open-J, the tool allows users with the smallest amount of programming experience to build applications for intranet, extranet, or Internet sites, the company claims.

Corel also earlier this month cut prices on its desktop application software in an effort to kick-start sales.