CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Christmas Gift Guide
Tech Industry

White Pine losses grow

Shipping delays and competition from less-robust videoconferencing software hurt revenues from White Pine's flagship CU-SeeMe product.

White Pine Software (WPNE) today attributed widening losses to increased competition and a delay in shipping latest version of its CU-SeeMe video chat software.

The company announced a net loss of $2.3 million, or 26 cents per share, for the first quarter ending April 4. For the first quarter of last year it posted a net loss of $962,000, or 16 cents per share.

Wall Street analysts were expecting a loss of 13 cents a share, according to First Call.

Revenue for the quarter grew to $2.6 million, up 25 percent from the $2.1 million recorded in the corresponding quarter last year.

As the company previously disclosed March 31, first-quarter revenues from its client videoconferencing software were hurt by a delay in shipping CU-SeeMe 3.0. The beta version of CU-SeeMe 3.0 is now available from the company's Web site, and the final version is expected to begin shipping over the Internet next week.

The company previously announced that increasing competition from Microsoft's (MSFT) NetMeeting, Intel's (INTC) Internet VideoPhone, and other low-cost, software-only desktop videoconferencing products are also taking their toll on the company's bottom line.

And analysts agree that the competition is hurting White Pine, though they say alternative products are more consumer-orientated and not as robust as White Pine's.

A recent Oppenheimer & Company report said that new products from Microsoft and Smith Micro Software have caused "enough consumer confusion and taken enough market share to affect White Pine."

The report added that "the corporate demand for intranet-based videoconferencing products has softened due to a combination of network upgrade delays and the pending introduction of a number of new products by vendors such as PictureTel (PCTL) and VideoServer (VSVR).

Revenue was down 33 percent from the previous quarter, but the fourth quarter is typically strong in the retail channel. The company reported revenue of $3.7 million in the fourth quarter.

White Pine said that sales of its new suite of Web-based intranet products, WebTerm and WebTerm X, were somewhat below expectations as a result of a longer-than-anticipated sales cycle.

While the company is disappointed with its results for the first quarter, it expects recent changes in administration and the additional resources allocated to focus on direct sales to energize its business.

During the quarter, the company's stock plummeted from about 7 to its 52-week low of 2, but in recent weeks the stock has inched up and in morning trading today, the stock gained just over 4 percent to 3-1/8, from yesterday's close of 3.