Informix shares crashed on Monday after the company issued a profit warning admitting that it had spent too much time promoting its new object relational software at the expense of its traditional markets.
The database supplier took Wall Street by surprise when it warned that it expects to report a "substantial" loss for its first quarter ended 30 March. Revenues for the quarter will be between $130 million and $145 million, heavily down on the $204 million reported for the comparable period last year.
Shares in the company lost a third of their value to $10.25 on the news as 8 million shares changed hands. The final results will be issued at the end of this month.
Although the company attributed some of the blame for its decline on a slow European market, the results showed that Informix is paying a heavy price for focusing all its efforts on the new Universal Server object relational database and neglecting its established Unix and NT markets.
Phil White, Informix chief executive officer, admitted: "We may have lost momentum as a result of sales and marketing overemphasis on emerging object relational technology and the lack of corporate focus on our NT products."
Universal Server was launched last December, amidst a welter of bad publicity, when its architect, Informix chief technology officer Michael Stonebraker warned that the database risked crashing if it was run too fast.
Informix plans to force its existing installed base of relational customers onto the new software by pulling support for its other database products (see separate story).
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