Spyglass Inc’s fourth quarter and year-end results announced yesterday show the company’s software footprint shrinking in parallel with its revenues. The company that made its name with Mosaic, the first web browser, which it licensed to Microsoft Corp among others – it’s the basis of Internet explorer – is in the middle of a transition from offering PC browsers to embedded web servers and browsers. The Naperville, Illinois company reported fourth quarter net losses of $4.7m, against profits last time of $1.0m, on revenues that fell 52% to $3.2m The losses per share were $0.38, about five cents better than Wall Street was expecting. That represents a 43% increase in revenues from the third quarter, but that was a particularly tough quarter for the company due to the slow uptake of its embedded device software. Nevertheless, the company is upbeat now, and called fiscal 1997 clearly the most productive in the company’s seven year history. During the year it licensed its embedded technology to GTE Corp, IBM Corp, Nokia Oy, Thomson Consumer Electronics and Xerox Corp. It also has its SurfWatch web filtering software, for which the market is only just getting underway, and its professional services arm. The company said it is looking at every way possible to expand its options, including acquisitions. It had $22.8m in the bank at September 30. However, it also cautioned that the continued focus on the web-enabled device markets may continue downward pressure on revenue and net income during fiscal 1998. A good indicator of what Spyglass is currently going through is the level of its research and development. It spent $13.6m on R&D in the year, which represents a whopping 64% of revenues. Net losses for the year to September 30 were $9.7m, including a $900,000 restructuring charge, against profits in 1996 of $3.5m, on revenues that were down 5% at $21.3m.
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