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The Register: What's making Sun a stellar success?

Jul 23, 2000, 20:20 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Graham Lea)

"Wall Street financial analysts are not renowned for being very kind about results, but during Sun's analyst call last night for its Q4 results, their praise was unprecedented in our experience. "Breathtaking numbers" was the commonest comment, with "an unbelievable quarter" and "spectacular" being runners up. So what had excited these dour destroyers of many a promising company?"

"Sun's revenue for Q4 broke the $5 billion barrier for the first time, and was up 42 per cent on the year-earlier quarter. Net income was $720 million, up 82 per cent, with earnings per share up 75 per cent to 42 cents, which was 27 per cent better than what the Street was expecting. There was in fact income of $96 million from the sale of investments that mellows this result somewhat. Revenue was up in all geographies for the quarter, compared with the year earlier quarters, and for the financial year as a whole. Revenue has increased through the financial year, with the quarters showing growth of 25 per cent, 27 per cent, 36 per cent and 42 per cent (excluding exceptional items)."

"...Sun has also managed to reach a friendly accommodation with Linux, which it dubs "another Unix." Sun has Linux extensions in Solaris, as well as a version of StarOffice for Linux. It is beginning to look as though StarOffice will achieve the distribution by OEMs that WordPerfect has failed to achieve in recent years, judging by the list of OEMs that Sun said would be taking it. This is somewhat strange since there is so little user experience with StarOffice compared with WordPerfect (Editor's note: Graham Lea = WordPerfect Die-Hard)."

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