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One-time charge puts Corel in red

After warning investors of a big one-time writedown, software maker Corel reports a second-quarter net loss of $105.7 million.

After warning investors two weeks ago of a big one-time writedown, software maker Corel (COSFF) today reported a second-quarter net loss of $105.7 million.

The loss, which equaled $1.49 a share for the quarter ending May 31, compared with net profits of $506,000, or 1 cent a share, a year earlier.

During the quarter, Corel took a one-time charge of $113.7 million. Without it, the company would have reported net profits of $4.1 million, or 6 cents a share. Meanwhile, analysts were expecting a profit of 8 cents a share, according to a First Call consensus.

Corel took the charge to retire the costs of its January 1996 acquisition of the WordPerfect software and other technologies from Novell. The charge also included deferred development costs paid to developers of Corel's CD Home Collection and Medical Series software.

Revenues hit $100.4 million for the quarter, a 15 percent jump from $87.5 million in the second quarter of 1996.

The company, which reported the results after the market's close, finished the day at 6-5/16, up 1/8 from Friday. Corel in May dipped to its 52-week low of 5 a share.

Meanwhile, Corel released last week the latest upgrade to its WordPerfect business productivity suite. The company is working on a pure Java version of the suite for release in October. Corel has also created a wholly-owned subsidiary, called Corel Computer, to create a network computer with practically no hard disk that will run software from a network, including Corel's Java-ized WordPerfect.