Sun shines on strong quarter

21 Jul 2004

Sun Microsystems claims to be back on the right track after reporting a strong performance its fourth quarter results. The computer maker saw sales jump for the first time in three years and benefited from a settlement with Microsoft.

During the quarter Sun earned US$795m compared with a loss of US$1.04bn during the same quarter last year. Sales rose 4.3pc to US$3.1bn, up from US$2.9m last year.

The results were boosted by Sun’s US$1.95bn settlement with Microsoft in April. However, during the fourth quarter Sun lost US169m compared with a profit of US$24m in the same profit last year.

The quarter saw 3,300 jobs axed across Sun’s global workforce, including 24 software jobs in Dublin.

Steve McGowan, Sun’s chief financial officer and executive vice president, corporate resources, said: “We’re pleased we grew revenue in fiscal Q4 based on consistent demand throughout the quarter across geographies and products. We’re also pleased that we generated US$2.2bn in cash from operations in fiscal 2004 and ended the year with a cash and marketable securities balance in excess of US$7.6bn. This marks the 15th consecutive fiscal year that Sun has generated positive cash flow from operations.”

“Delivering growth and preliminary profits in Q4 is a great way to end the year, with 46pc server unit volume growth year-over-year and a sequential increase of 18pc,” said Scott McNealy, chairman and chief executive officer, Sun Microsystems, Inc. “We enter the new fiscal year with a strong balance sheet, the strongest product and services portfolio in our history, and the largest developer and partner communities we’ve ever had.”

By John Kennedy