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FileNet Sales May Top $100 Million in '90 for a Record


COSTA MESA — FileNet Corp. said Thursday that it expects to surpass $100 million in annual sales for the first time and to report higher earnings for 1990.

The maker of document processing systems said it expects to report earnings of $3.7 million for the year ended Dec. 31, up 20% from $3 million a year earlier. Revenue is expected to increase 23% to $102 million, up from $83 million a year earlier.

For the fourth quarter, however, FileNet said its earnings will drop to about $850,000 from $2.8 million a year ago. Revenue is expected to be $29 million, up from $26.5 million a year earlier.

"It is a pretty good performance for the fourth quarter, given the economic conditions," said James Reynolds, an analyst for Wedbush Morgan Securities in Los Angeles.

FileNet issued a preliminary financial report Thursday and expects to announce its final results by Feb. 20.

The company bounced back from a third-quarter loss of $506,000 and shipped 30 of its document processing systems in the fourth quarter. But results for the latest quarter were depressed by costs resulting from layoffs and a shareholder lawsuit.

During the third and fourth quarters, FileNet cut its work force by 4% to about 750 employees. In addition, a shareholder sued the company in October, alleging that the company misled investors by portraying its financial prospects as brighter than they actually were. FileNet has denied the allegations in the suit, which is pending.

"In light of the current economic environment, we were satisfied with the overall results for the quarter," said Ted Smith, president and chief executive.

FileNet manufactures document processing systems consisting of proprietary computer workstations and software that enable paper files to be stored and retrieved as computer data.

FileNet is expected to introduce next week a new version of its WorkFlo software that can be used on any computer workstation--not just those supplied by FileNet--that are based on the Intel 80386 microprocessor. The company spent more than two years developing the software, which is compatible with the popular Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 3.0 computer graphics interface.

With the new software, FileNet's customers would still need to buy hardware such as scanners from FileNet to set up a computerized filing system. The advantage for the customers would be that they could use their existing network of personal computers or purchase them from any supplier, not just FileNet. This would make FileNet's systems affordable to more customers.

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