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[email protected] Week: Linux Lunacy [Caldera IPO]

“Despite this illustrious lineage, Caldera doesn’t seem to
know what it wants to be when it grows up.
The company started
out as a distributor of Linux. Then it veered in the direction of a
professional services company, such as Linuxcare. Now the
prospectus says Caldera is concentrating on providing the fully
buzzword-compliant ‘Linux for e-business.’ “

“All this indecision has walloped the company’s
financials.
If we’re willing to take increasing losses as the
price of doing business in the new economy – a big if – then
Caldera’s yearly revenue numbers, though small, look good. Revenue
grew from $1.1 million in 1998 to $3.1 million in 1999. Losses grew
from $8 million to $9.3 million.”

“But quarterly numbers, reflecting the costs of changing the
business plan, are nasty. Revenue in the quarter ended Jan. 31,
1999 was $538,000, while losses were $992,000. A year later,
quarterly revenue was essentially flat, at $553,000, while losses
zoomed to $5.5 million.”


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