Riding SuSE, Novell Reports First-Quarter Growth

The numbers compare with net earnings of $260 million and a net loss of $12 million, or 3 cents, for the first quarter of 2003.

Jack Messman, chairman and CEO of the Waltham, Mass.-based company said the figures mark a step in the right direction in a hostile economic climate.

"I am encouraged by our performance during the quarter in what remains a challenging IT business environment," Messman said in a conference call Monday afternoon. "We showed steady progress in positioning Novell for high-growth opportunities."

In particular, Messman cited the firm's acquisition of SUSE Linux as a major strategic shift. The move, though it lessened cash and short-term investments on the balance sheet from $651 million a year ago to $605 million today, was offset by positive cash flow of nearly $31 million during the first quarter of 2004.

Sponsored post

Moving forward, Messman said the company is now focused on execution and plans to move quickly to deliver enterprise-class network services for mixed environments, including Linux.

Novell's annual BrainShare event is slated for mid-March. Company executives said they expect a series of major channel-oriented announcements around that time.