Ross Technology Inc, the struggling SPARC chip maker, has been told that Nasdaq plans to de-list its common stock because it does not meet the net tangible asset requirements of the market. Ross has appealed against the decision and a final verdict will be made by Nasdaq in 30 days. The company’s main hope is that 60% majority shareholder Fujitsu Ltd will again bail it out and Ross is having discussions with the Japanese giant and expects it to make a decision by the end of the month. Ross is in big trouble after reporting a $5.2m loss for the first quarter which saw revenue fall by 62% to $11.8m. Its problems stem from proudly sticking to 32-bit designs while its competitors were moving up to 64 bits with the predictable results that its customers are deserting it in droves. Ross expects its own a 64-bit chip to be ready by March next year but the question is whether it will have any customers left and how much losses it will have accumulated by then with an noncompetitive product range. In a way, de- listing the stock would be an act of kindness since it is currently languishing at $1.75 – though it has been as high as $9.38 in the past year. Sun Microsystems Inc is sitting on a hefty loss from its 5% stake and employees hold a fair proportion of the remaining 35% – and what might, at one time, have been a share incentive scheme has turned into a massive motive to cut their losses and take their savings and skills to a company with better prospects.
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