Netscape exceeded analysts' expectations by breaking even for its quarter ended 30 April.
But the results were almost impossible to interpret correctly - not only did Netscape change its reporting period, but it separately reported a disastrous one-month January period.
For the three months ended 30 April, Netscape reported revenues of $127.2 million. Because of the changed reporting period, these figures cannot be compared adequately with previous quarters. For the period ended 31 March 1997, Netscape reported $120.5 million, with net income of $7.3 million.
But in the separate one-month period of January, Netscape apparently had total revenues of only $8.3 million, while restructuring costs helped cause a $54.1 million loss.
In a conference call announcing the results, Jim Barksdale brushed aside the January figures, claiming the February to April figures ?more adequately reflect? current revenue run rates. He offered little explanation for the low January turnover.
This was the first quarter since Netscape decided to give away its Communicator browser. In the December quarter, browser sales accounted for $13 million of revenue.
Netscape is now concentrating on server sales, and on its Netcenter Web site.
Barksdale said sales of enterprise software and services accounted for $96.1 million in sales.
Revenue related to Netcenter amounted to $31.1 million. Barksdale said the site now has five million registered users. Netscape is expected to announce additional features for Netcenter in the coming weeks. Barksdale suggested revenues from Netcenter were likely to remain at their current level of about 25 per cent of total turnover.
No revenues from Netscape?s recent deal with search engine company Excite ? a two-year, $70 million agreement ? were included in the results.
In the quarter that ended on 31 December, Netscape lost $88.3 million on sales of $125 million.
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