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Tandem profits fall

Tandem reports a 14.4 percent drop in fourth-quarter profits, largely because of a loss from a discontinued networking subsidiary, UB Networks.

Tandem Computers (TDM) today reported a 14.4 percent drop in fourth-quarter profits, largely because of a loss from a discontinued networking subsidiary, UB Networks.

Tandem posted earnings of $17 million, or 14 cents a share, for the quarter ending September 30, compared with profits of $20 million, or 17 cents a share, a year ago.

Analysts had expected Tandem to earn 30 cents a share, according to First Call. The company's income from continuing operations, however, reached $40 million, or 34 cents a share, for the quarter.

Revenues dipped slightly to $543.2 million for the quarter, compared with $546.7 million a year earlier. Company officials note that the fourth quarter last year had higher sales attributable to trade-in programs for upgrades.

The company posted a year-end loss of $23 million, or 19 cents, compared with profits of $108 million, or 91 cents a share, the previous year. Tandem took a second quarter pretax restructuring charge of $52 million.

Tandem's revenues, meanwhile, remained virtually flat at $1.9 billion, compared with $1.92 billion the previous year.

"We concluded a very challenging year, a year in which we have made some tough decisions, restructured the organization of the company into business units, and created a new vision for Tandem around our Himalaya and Windows NT Server systems," said Roel Pieper, chief executive and president, in a statement.