RSA losses widen in Q4, 2002

Security software company RSA Security reported Thursday that it lost US$49.8 million ($.88 per share) in the fourth quarter of 2002, compared with a loss of $10.1 million ($.18 per share) in the same quarter in 2001.

A variety of factors contributed to the company's lackluster performance in the fourth quarter, including charges related to layoffs and lease obligations, inventory write-downs as well as charges resulting from the decline in the fair value of the company's investments.

The company's performance for the year was down from 2001, as well. RSA reported a net loss of $96.8 million ($1.71 per share) in 2002, compared to a loss of $2.5 million ($.04 per share) in 2001.

Revenue for the fourth quarter and the year were both down from 2001.

RSA reported revenue of $61 million in the fourth quarter of 2002, compared with $63 million in the fourth quarter of 2001. For the year, the company brought in $232.1 million, compared with $282.7 million in 2001.

RSA pointed to a slight uptick in revenue in the fourth quarter as well as the company's success in limiting expenses and improving its operating margin as reasons for optimism.

The company anticipates continued flat revenue in the first quarter 2003, ranging from $57 million to $61 million and earnings per share of, at most $.02 from core operations.

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