B-to-B vendors i2, BroadVision, warn of more losses

Business-to-business software makers i2 Technologies Inc. and BroadVision Inc. both warned today that they expect to report losses for the second consecutive quarter.

The warnings come after the vendors reported losses for the previous quarter that ended March 31.

Redwood City, Calif.-based BroadVision projected a loss of between US$46.5 million and $54.7 million for the quarter, which ended Saturday. Dallas-based i2 said it expected a loss of about $871.5 million, which includes a one-time write-off of $25 million to $27 million in bad debt.

Both companies blamed tough market conditions for their losses, though i2 found a silver lining among the gloom of last quarter's earnings.

"One positive spot this quarter was expense control," said Bill Beecher, chief financial officer of i2. "We made better than expected progress at reducing our operating cost structure."

Nonetheless, i2 CEO Greg Brady said in a statement that he was disappointed his company failed to make a profit with "what we believed were conservative estimates for the quarter." In April, the company said it planned to lay off 10 percent of its employees.

Meanwhile, after cutting its staff by 32 percent, or about 695 employees, BroadVision said it was also expecting losses for the quarter. "Results for the quarter were adversely affected by the continued uncertainties surrounding the current IT spending environment," the company said in a statement.

Pehong Chen, BroadVision's president and CEO, also warned of more job cuts if conditions don't improve. "Given the concerns surrounding the current market and our commitment to returning to profitability, we are continuing to focus on containing expenses," Chen said in the statement. "If conditions do not improve in the second half of the year, we are prepared to make additional adjustments in our spending policies and staffing levels. Likewise, if improving business conditions warrant, we will add resources to grow our business."

On the same day that it gave the earnings warning, BroadVision announced that Randall Bolten, its chief financial officer, had resigned. No reason was given the resignation. The company's treasurer, Terry Davis, was named to fill the post temporarily while a search is conducted for a permanent replacement.

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