Despite financial bail-outs from major shareholder Samsung, AST Research still reported a worse loss than Wall Street had expected. Its third quarter net deficit was $135.3 million or $2.41 per share, 40 per cent worse than the same time last year and almost a dollar per share greater than analysts' predictions of $1.48 loss.
However, the company received a further $200 million in credit from Samsung Electronics to add to a series of financial injections totalling $678 million that began early last year. Samsung holds a 46 per cent stake in AST.
This quarter's loss included a $21.6 million charge for the 1993 acquisition of Tandy's manufacturing operations. Even without this charge, the deficit would have been almost $20 million larger than last year, but at least revenues crept up marginally, by one per cent to $408.5 million, reversing five quarters of revenue decline.
AST has been making losses for several years now. It has been badly affected by price wars and by the defection of senior managers. In the past year, Samsung has increased its influence on the running of the company and this led to the departure recently of chief executive Ian Diery and chief financial officer Joseph Norberg.
When the results were announced, AST's shares closed down 12.5 cents at $4.31 on the Nasdaq exchange.
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