Novell Inc chief operating operator and overall chief since Last August Joe Marengi said in Information Week this week The beautiful thing about being perceived as a company that’s all done is that no one pays any attention to you as you come back. But that’s assuming you do come back. Judging by yesterday’s first quarter results, which were worse than Wall Street estimates and the seemingly-interminable search for a CEO that suggests there are few willing takers, the company had better start digging into its cash pile soon and buying some technology and companies as it promised it would just last week (CI No 3,101). Otherwise a comeback for the Provo, Utah PC networking company may end up resembling a mirage in the nearby Great Salt Lake desert. The plan is to expand internationally and push the GroupWise product heavily, hopefully into the number two position behind Lotus Notes/Domino. First quarter net profits were down 20% at $50.8m, or $0.15 – that’s two cents below First Call’s average estimate. Revenues were down 14% at $374.8m, against a period that included $61m in revenues from a one-off license payment from the sale of UnixWare, plus revenues from it and other discontinued product lines. So, revenues were still down slightly even without that consideration. Novell is looking to give away its core Netware Directory Services (NDS) – the hub of NetWare, and thus far IBM and Sun are including it in their Unixes, expanding the potential user base for NetWare, and its IntraNetWare successor. Revenues from the core network operating system business grew 10% year-on-year at $251m. of this IntraNetware revenues were $185m, indicating Novell’s core business-to-be. Cash at the end of the firts quarter was $1.10bn, up from $1.02bn over the previous quarter (CI No 3,051).