JD Edwards reports $27.3m operating loss

The red-ink news for business applications vendor JD Edwards & Co. in its second fiscal quarter wasn't quite as bad as some analysts had feared. But the Denver-based company has the sale of some equity investments to thank for that.

JD Edwards on Wednesday reported a $2.3 million net loss for its second quarter ended April 30, compared with a $10.4 million loss for the same period a year ago. But the operating loss for this year's second quarter totaled $27.3 million, a figure that was reduced in part by a $17.9 million gain from selling off some unspecified equity investments.

JS Edwards - which announced earlier this week that it was laying off 800 of its 5,400 employees - originally was expected to report a small profit for the second quarter. But earlier this month, the company warned that a loss was likely instead.

Second-quarter revenue was flat with last year's level, coming in at $231 million. The announcement of the financial results also follows last month's abrupt resignation of CEO Doug Massingill, who was replaced by co-founder and chairman C Edward McVaney. McVaney had given up the CEO job to Massingill in late 1998.

But all of the recent troubles shouldn't spell the end of JD Edwards, said Ed Markowitz, a Cincinnati-based analyst and editor of the "ERP Strategy" newsletter. The company has a "big installed base" of users, Markowitz said.

"Will it shrink? Yes. Will it still be there? Yes," he said.

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