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Liberate to Cut Jobs, Sell OSS Unit

October 14, 2003|From Bloomberg News

Liberate Technologies Inc., which makes software to run cable television set-top boxes, said Monday that it would cut its workforce to about 150 by December as part of a plan to sell its OSS division.

San Carlos, Calif.-based Liberate said the sale would help reduce expenses. The Toronto-based OSS division, which makes software to provide telephone and Internet service over cable TV lines, will now be accounted for as a discontinued operation, Liberate said in a statement.

Liberate reported that its fiscal first-quarter net loss narrowed to $12.6 million, or 12 cents a share, in the period ended Aug. 31, from $249.3 million, or $2.35, in the year-earlier period. Revenue fell to $1.55 million from $9 million a year earlier.

The company last month announced it spent $17.9 million on an insurance policy to cover legal expenses related to a restatement of financial results. The restatement reduced the company's revenue in the last three quarters of the fiscal year ended May 31, 2002, and in the first quarter ended Aug. 31 of that year. The SEC is investigating Liberate's accounting.

Cable companies have suffered as they lost subscribers to satellite TV services, including Hughes Electronics Corp.'s DirecTV and EchoStar Communications Corp.'s Dish Network.

Liberate shares fell 5 cents to $3.35 in over-the-counter trading. The stock has more than doubled this year.

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