Friday June 28, 2002

CNet announces plans to lay off
about 10 percent of workforce


SAN FRANCISCO — Online technology news provider CNet Networks Inc. on Thursday said it will shed about 10 percent of its work force, or nearly 200 employees, as part of its latest effort to survive the high-tech meltdown that has dominated its coverage for nearly two years. 

The San Francisco-based company’s third major layoff in 16 months will pare its payroll to about 1,700 workers, still well above the nearly 700 people that CNet employed at the end of 1999. 

Like many Internet companies, CNet expanded rapidly to capitalize on the dot-com craze that helped make its site one of the most widely read on the Web. 

CNet remains a popular destination, attracting 23.2 million unique visitors in May to make it the 11th most traffic on the Web, according to comScore Media Metrix. But the company hasn’t been able to make money since investors stopped pouring money into high-tech businesses that used to advertise heavily on the site. 

After cashing in on some of its own dot-com investments to post a $417 million profit in 1999, CNet lost $2.5 billion during the past two years. 


Salon warns it needs
to raise more money to survive


SAN FRANCISCO — Online magazine publisher Salon Media Group Inc. faces the prospect of going out of business if it can’t raise more money this summer, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

As of March 31, San Francisco-based Salon said it was down to its last $1.5 million in cash — enough to keep its business running for three or four months, according to the company’s annual report to shareholders. 

Salon’s precarious position prompted the company’s auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers, to conclude there is “substantial doubt” about its prospects for survival. 

The auditor’s warning threatens to make it even more difficult for Salon to raise money, the company said. 


Intuit agrees to buy
Connecticut software maker for
$85 million


MOUNTAIN VIEW — Intuit Inc. announced plans Thursday to buy small business software maker Eclipse Inc. for $85 million in cash, the latest in flurry of acquisitions. 

Mountain View-based Intuit, the maker of the popular Quicken and TurboTax software, expects the addition of Eclipse to add at least $40 million to its revenue during its fiscal year ending July 2003. Intuit expects to retain virtually all of Shelton, Conn.-based Eclipse’s 220 employees. Eclipse also has offices in Boulder, Colo. and West Yarmouth, Mass. 

With Eclipse’s contribution, Intuit expects its fiscal 2003 revenue to reach as high as $1.75 billion, up from management’s previous projection of $1.73 billion. Intuit also said its earnings, excluding special charges, could be a penny higher than previous projections of $1.25 to $1.31 per share. 

Intuit’s shares rose 29 cents to close at $47.44 Thursday on the Nasdaq Stock Market. 


Peregrine Systems notified
of Nasdaq intent to delist


SAN DIEGO — Peregrine Systems Inc., a software company under SEC investigation for possible accounting fraud, said Thursday it received notification that the Nasdaq Stock Market intends to delist its stock on July 5. 

Peregrine is in violation a Nasdaq rule after auditor Arthur Andersen LLP said the company’s financial statements for 2000, 2001, and the first three quarters of fiscal 2002 should not be relied upon. 

San Diego-based Peregrine fired Arthur Andersen as its auditor April 2 and fired its replacement auditor, KPMG, at the end of May. KPMG sent the SEC a letter alleging possible fraud at the company. 

KPMG had found that, beginning in 2000, Peregrine apparently overstated revenue by about $100 million.