Corel Corp, Canada’s biggest software company, issued yet another profits warning on Thursday, forcing the stock to its all time low of just $1.81 and raising fears about its ultimate survival. Having initially said its losses would hit the $15m to $20m range in the fourth quarter to November, Ottawa-based Corel now expects its losses to reach $95m, as the full misery of its failure to create a Java-based office suite takes its toll. Office for Java was to be Corel’s chief weapon in its crusade against Microsoft Corp and its poorly received Microsoft Office 97. But Corel has failed to deliver and things went from bad to worse when CEO Michael Cowpland sold $20m, or 25%, of his own shares in the company just a month before third quarter losses of $32m were announced. The shares fell over 60% to just $3 at the time, and now alongside increased warnings about quarter four’s losses, there are rumors that Microsoft wants to develop its own graphics package to attack Corel’s best seller, Corel draw. And on top of all this, Corel still has $50m in debt to pay for on its purchase of the Wordperfect suite from Novell Inc. A final version of fourth quarter results will be released on January 13th. Corel shares fell $0.25 to close at $1.75 Thursday.
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