December 4, 2008 / 10:13 PM / 11 years ago

Novell reports narrower loss on cost cutting

* Q4 non-GAAP EPS of 6 cents in line with Street’s view

* Q4 revenue of $245 million below forecast of $250 mln

* Shares little changed in after-hours trade

BOSTON, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Novell Inc NOVL.O, the No. 2 publicly held maker of Linux software, reported a narrower quarterly loss on Thursday as cost cutting helped offset zero revenue growth.

The company reported a loss of $16.3 million, or 5 cents per share in the fourth-quarter ended Oct 31, compared with a loss of $17.9 million, or 5 cents, a year earlier when it had more shares outstanding.

Waltham, Massachusetts-based Novell reported profit excluding items of 6 cents per share, in line with the average forecast from Reuters Estimates.

The software maker’s quarterly revenue of $245 million was flat from a year earlier and below the $250 million Wall Street forecast.

Its full-year non-GAAP operating margin more than doubled to 10.2 percent from 4.9 percent. That beat the 8 percent to 10 percent margin target the company issued in August.

Novell said it is targeting a non-GAAP operating margin of at least 10 percent for the current fiscal year, which ends in October 2009.

Novell is the world’s second-largest seller of Linux software after Red Hat Inc RHT.N.

Its shares were little changed in after-hours trade after falling 6.4 percent on Nasdaq to $3.82.

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