News - Oct.89 - Nov.89 - Part IIFrom: Atari SIG (xx004)
Date: 02/28/90-06:45:51 PM Z
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From: xx004 (Atari SIG) Subject: News - Oct.89 - Nov.89 - Part II Date: Wed Feb 28 18:45:51 1990 Time Capsule - News - Oct.89 - Nov.89 ------------------------------------- News Subject Title Date Posted ------------------ ----------- Atari Corp Facts & Figures Oct.18,1989 Word Up 2.0 Oct.22,1989 ST Scan V1.5 released Nov.15,1989 Developers form defence Nov.15,1989 -------------------------------------- -Article #169 (208 is last): -Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.news -From: aa399 (Len Stys) -Subject: Atari Corp. Facts & Figures -Date: Wed, 18 Oct 89 22:21:45 EDT Atari Corp. facts and figures _____________________________ * Please Note * Most of this information has been obtained from: Atari's stock reports and Standard ASE Stock Reports. ASE Symbol ATC Price: Aug. 28'89 9 1/4 Range: 1989 9 7/8 - 4 3/4 P-E Ratio: 26 Dividend: None Yield: None S&P Ranking: NR Beta: NA Summary _______ Earnings fell sharply in the first half of 1989, penalized by unfavorable exchange rates and lower U.S. video game sales. The Tramiel family owns 51% of the common shares, and Warner Communications owns 25%. Business Summary ________________ Atari Corporation was founded in 1984 by Jack Tramiel, co-founder and former CEO of Commodore International, develops, manufactures and markets personal computers and video game systems. Foreign operations represent an important component of the company's business; the geographic distribution of sales for the past two years was: 1988 1987 U.S & Canada........... 29% 38% Export sales........... 3% 5% Europe................. 65% 56% Other.................. 3% 1% Atari's main products are its ST and MEGA series of personal computer systems. At December 31, 1988, over 5,000 software titles were available for these computers. During 1988, Atari started shipping a line of microcomputers compatible with software written for the IBM PC XT computers. Atari also markets its XE series computers for the entry level computer user. Atari is one of the largest sellers of video game systems in the U.S., with its line comprising the 2600 VCS, the 7800 ProSystem and the XE Game System. The 2600 is the most widely owned video game system in the world with more software available than for any other video game, and retails for under $50. The 7800 ProSystem, first offered in May 1986, features enhanced graphics for arcade-quality video games, and generally retails for less than $100. The Federated Group, Inc. was acquired in October 1987, operates 40 consumer electronics "Super-stores" in California, Arizona, and Texas. The stores average over 22,000 sq.ft. of retail space, and sells audio, video and other consumer electronic products. The Federated consumer electronic stores has been classified as a discontinued operation by Atari. Important Developments ______________________ Jul. '89- Atari said it is discussing the sale of certain assets of Federated Group to NASDAQ listed Fretter Inc. Aug. '89- Atari said it had shipped several thousand units of its Atari Portfolio, a new IBM compatible handheld personal computer that retails for about $399. Atari also said it will begin shipping a hand-held color LCD game system during the fourth quarter of 1989. Net Sales (Million $) Quarter 1989 1988 1987 1986 Mar....... 88.8 98.3 65.1 44.9 Jun....... 82.7 102.5 70.7 60.7 Sep....... 98.8 80.4 59.9 Dec....... 152.6 277.0 258.1 Net sales from coninuing operations for the six months ended July 1, 1989, fell 15% year to year, reflecting unfavorable currency exchange rates and lower U.S. sales of video games. Income continuing operations plunged 84%, to $3,615,000 ($0.06 a share), from $22,940,000 ($0.40). Results exclude losses from discontinued operations of $0.19 a share in the 1988 interim. Dividend Data _____________ The company has not paid cash dividends and intends to retain future earnings to finance its growth. A 100% stock dividend was paid in June 1987. Finances ________ In June 1989, Atari agreed to pay $12.1 million to settle charges that its Federated Group illegally forced employees and job applicants to take lie-detector tests. Atari said that as a result of insurance coverage, there will be no adverse financial impact to it or Federated. In Feburary, 1989, Atari filed a $250 million lawsuit against Nintendo Co., a Japanese home video-game manufacturer, alleging that it has violated antitrust laws by preventing the creators of games licensed for play on its game consoles from selling their games for use on other video game systems. Nintendo termed the allegation "meritless." In November 1988, Atari purchased the creditor posistion in Federated from a group of five banks for about $32 million. Federated had been in default on certain agreements and was facing foreclosuer on its assets by the bank group. In August 1988, Atari filed a lawsuit against several former members and advisers of the Federated Group, alleging that the company's assets had been intentiaonally overstated by $43 million, resulting in a serious overpayment by Atari for the retail chain, which Atari had purchased for $64 million in 1987. In April 1987, underwriters led by PainWebber International sold $75 million of Atari 5 1/4% convertible subordinated debentures to foreign investors. Proceeds were used for expansion and acquisitions. In November 1986, through underwriters led by PaineWebber Inc., Atari publicly sold 10,165,000 shares of its common stock at $5.75 each. Proceeds were used to repay debt and increase working capital. Capitalization ______________ Long Term Debt: $75,000,000 (12/88) of 5 1/4% sub. debs. conv. into com. at $16.3125 a share. Common Stock: 57,722,663 shs. ($0.01 par). The Tramiel family owns 51% and Warner Communications hold 25%. Shareholders: 1,527 of record (3/88). ___ The rest of this posting deals with Commodore and how it compares to Atari so if you are not interested in reading about Commodore then please enter 'q' to quit the rest of this posting. Thanks. ___ Interesting facts about Commodore International... NYSE Symbol CBU Options on Phila Commodore makes microcomputers and offers peripherals and software for the home, education, and business markets. CBU's line includes the Amiga computers, which feature advanced graphics, the 64C/128 home computers, and MS-DOS compatible computers. Some 74% of sales come from overseas. In June, 1989 CBU said operations would be at about breakeven in the fourth quarter of fiscal 1989 due to the significant appreciation of the dollar. However, good growth is expected in fiscal 1990. Important Developments ______________________ CBU said that due to substantial appreciation of the dollar, sales in fiscal 1989's fourth quarter would be below the year-earlier $215 million and earnings would range from a modest profit to a modest loss. Gross margins were expected to decline as the strength of the sales but had only a small positive effect on product costs due to the delayed impact and the relatively limited strengthening of the dollar against Far Eastern currencies. Business Summary ________________ As of 12/89, there were over 600,000 Amiga units sold with over 1,500 software titles. The Commodore 64C/128D have over 10,000 software packages available. Dividend Data _____________ No cash dividends have ever been paid. Finance _______ In January, 1989 CBU reported that its U.S. subsidiary had received a statuatory notice of deficiency from the Internal Revenue Service for taxes of $74 million for 1981-3. CBU said its tax reserves, in light of available tax loss carrybacks, are adequate to cover a realistic resolution of the situation and that such a resolution would not have a material impact on earnings, cash flow or financial posistion. Capitalization ______________ Long Term Debt: $130,000,000. Common Stock: 31,674,304 shs. ($0.01 par). Some 18% closely held. Instituations hold about 36%. Shareholders: 4,100. Again, most of this information has been taken from Atari's stock reports and Standard ASE Stock Reports, Vol 24/No. 71/Sec. 2 by Standard & Poor's Corp. 25 Broadway, NY, NY 10004. ls - -Article #170 (208 is last): -Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.news -From: aa400 (Phillip M. Chow) -Subject: WordUp 2.0 -Date: Sun, 22 Oct 89 08:28:06 EDT Neocept announces WordUp version 2.0 Neocept, Inc. announces the release of WordUp version 2.0. This new version is said to have over 60 improvements. In addition to Neochrome, Degas and IMG formats, GEM metafile pictures can now be imported. According to company president Shelby Moore III, WordUp 2.0 does a better than average job of supporting text within metafiles, especially those pictures that have been resized or cropped. GEM metafiles are especially useful for incorporating high quality business graphics or technical illustrations. Other features that have been added in version 2.0, include multi-level hanging indents, scaling of installed fonts up to 50 points, 360dpi 24-pin printouts, foreign and extended character set support, and mail merge support for Regent Base and The Informer. Shelby stated that version 2.0 has greatly improved scrolling speed and typing response. In addition, color monitor users now have the option to use monochrome fonts for greatly improved readability. Some of the other improvements inclde 40k more memory with 520ST, no more crashing when manipulating pictures, does not turn mouse off with desk accessories, and numerous other crashing type bugs fixed. Registered owners should have received an upgrade form from the company by now. WordUp is a full featured word processor that allows you to mix multiple fonts and graphics in a document. WordUp has a suggested retail price of $79.95. For more information contact: Neocept, Inc. 547 Constitution, Unit A Camarillo, CA 93010 (805) 482-4446 - -Article #180 (208 is last): -Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.news -From: aa400 (Phillip M. Chow) -Subject: STSCAN version 1.5 released -Date: Wed, 15 Nov 89 18:57:37 EST STSCAN v1.5 released Campbell, CA - Navarone Industries, Inc. announces the release of STSCAN Version 1.5. Several new features are added along with enhancements of some old features. Four new disk file formats for saving scanned images include DEGAS Full Screen, Tagged Image File Format (TIFF), Encapsulated PostScript and Compressed TIFF. DEGAS Full Screen format allows saving the full page, scanned image as a 72 dot per inch (dpi) file. The previous version allowed only a portion of the image to be saved, due to the limitation of 32k fle format. Encapsulated PostScript, TIFF and Compressed TIFF will now permit the scanned images to be imported into a desktop publishing programs on the IBM, compatibles and Macintosh computers. STSCAN's Full Page scan feature has been enhanced to more accurately represent the scanned image by presenting it on the display screen at 72dpi rather than the previous 75dpi display. The Full Page scan also now accepts halftone and intensity settings to preview the image. At times, the size of the file to be saved may exceed a megabyte of data. While saving the scanned image to a disk file, a progression box is now displayed, indicating the progress of the save. Several keyboard comands have been added to supplement the dropdown menu selections. This helps to eliminate using the mouse for activatiing features of the program. The user may now print directly to the Atari SLM804 laser printer from within the STSCAN program. A new program, STCOPY, is also provided with the package. STCOPY along with the Atari SLM804 laser printer turns the computer system into a copy machine. Scanned pages or previously saved .IMG files may be printed. A dialog box allows up to 999 copies to be printed at once. STCOPY does not use the Diablo 630 emulator, it uses its own interface to the SLM804. A dialog box permits selection of either Manual or Automatic paper feed. STSCAN 1.5 plus the STCOPY program, priced at $25, is available from: Navarone Industries, Inc. 454 Kenneth Ave. Campbell, CA 95008 (408) 378-8177 -- -Article #181 (208 is last): -Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.news -From: aa400 (Phillip M. Chow) -Subject: Developers form 'self defense' group -Date: Wed, 15 Nov 89 18:58:28 EST Developers Form 'Self Defense' Group ____________________________________________________ Charge Atari 'hinders' development, by Nevin Shalit Fairfax, VA - Disturbed by a series of actions by Atari Corporation, a group of more than 35 people representing approximately 25 software developers met on October 8th to create an official Atari ST Developers Association. The meeting was held at the Quality Inn in Fairfax, Virginia and lasted approximately one hour. There were two major complaints about Atari Corp. that surfaced repeatedly throughout the meeting. First, the developers were upset that Atari has done virtually no marketing for the ST in the United States. Atari has promised many times to launch a major advertising campaign to support the US ST market, but every year the campaign failes to surface. Developers feel that without an effective effort to sell more STs in North America, it will be increasingly difficult to make a living developing software and harware for the Atari. Second, the developers were equally upset at the limited technical support Atari provides its thrid party vendors. Many in attendance commented that it is very difficult to get technical information from Atari, that information about the new TT and STE is impossible to obtain, and that almost none of them were offered information that would have allowed them to develop for the Portfolio prior to its release. It appears, then, that the goals of the new developers association will be to convince Atari to make a serious marketing effort to sell more STs in the US, and improve the flow of technical information out of Sunnyvale. The meeting was held with the understanding that comments would be on the record for the press, but that the individuals who spoke would not be identified. Many believe that Atari might retaliate against individuals who "make waves," but that a group of leading developers would be not only a more powerful voice but would also be immune to retaliation. One developer complained angrily that every year Atari promises to launch an adverising campaign but never delivers. He went on to note that Commodore has just started a 15 million dollar media blitz for the Amiga including television ads and multi page spreads in national publications such as Time magazine. He was concerned that the ST was going to be left as a weak "also-ran" in the personal computer market. As te discussion continued concerning Atari's lack of advertising, many used the word "lies" to describe promises made and broken by Atari executives. Developers said they were concerned about advertising because without advertising, the number of new machines sold in the US is very small. Software and hardware developers say they can not continue to make a living selling to the same installed base; they need a constantly growing user base to whom they can sell their products. The lack of advertising is also connected in some manner to a lack of dealers carrying the ST. One developer said that Atari has so few dealers it "is pathetic." He went on to say that Atari believes that when they ship the TT, dealers around the country will forget their mistreatment by Atari and clamor to carry the it. This developer said Atari was sadly mistaken in this belief. Some developers offered suggestions of how to get Atari to advertise. One idea under consideration is to sponsor a resolution at the next annual stockholders meeting of Atari Corp requiring them to legally commit to spending a large amount of money advertising the ST line in the US. "It would be real hard for Jack to vote against that kind of resolution in public," one developer said referring to Jack Tramiel. He went on to say that he plans to contact leaders in the financial community with ties to Atari, such as Lee Isgur at Paine Webber, to let them know that there are real problems in the Atari world and to see if those who have financial leverage with Atari might be able to shake up the executives in Sunnyvale. Concerning technical support, almost everyone in the room was in agreement that Atari's tech support to developers is very weak. Many comments were made to the effect that Atari refuses to tell developers about bugs in the operating system and to provide workarounds. It is up to each developer, then, to find these bugs and solve them for him or herself. If Atari were more forthcoming about the weaknesses in the machine, then developers could use the official workarounds and concentrate on other aspects of development. Similarly, the developers were livid that Atari plans to release the STE very shortly while technical information about the machine is impossible to obtain. Identical comments were made about the TT. There were a number of Canadian developers in attendance and they all agreed that when an important employee left Atari Canada a few months ago the level of tech support north of the border dropped precipitously. Most of the comments at the meeting were directed at Atari Corporation in general but there were some who said that Leonard Tramiel, a son of Jack Tramiel and head of Atari's System Software division, is specifically responsible for much of the bad blood between developers and Atari Corporation. During and after the meeting a significant number of individuals said that Leonard Tramiel repeatedly insults developers in private and in public - at trade shows for example - and that he is responsible for many bad decisions that Atari has made over the years, including the poor flow of technical informaton from Atari to its developers. Some in attendance at the meeting voiced their hope that Leonard would leave Atari some day while others noted that this might be possible, since Wang corporation recently fired the son of Wang's founder. Reached at Atari's offices in Sunnyvale, Leonard Tramiel said he was "surprised" to hear these accusations. He said he does not know too many developers and has never meant to insult anyone. "If I did say something [to insult someone] then I apologize." He said that any developer who has a problem with him should call or write him and say, "Hey Leonard, you are being a jerk." He did say, however, that if there is a certain program he is familiar with and simply does not like, and a developer asks for his opinion, he will tell him straight out that it is "garbage." He added, however, that he does admire a lot of ST software and pointed to Migraph's various applications and Master CAD as examples of superior ST programs. As can be expected, there was a certain amount of confusion at the developers' meeting. Not everyone agreed on what the major focus of the new developers association should be or who should be allowed to be a member. Those in attendance thus decided to form a board of directors of 6 individuals whose responsibility would be to write the bylaws of the group and to outline the goals of the group. The six chosen for the board of directors were Gordon Monnier of MichTron, Nathan Potechin of ISD Marketing, John Eidsvoog of CodeHead Software, Rick Flashman of Gribnif software, George Morrison of Alpha Systems and Jim Allen of Fast Technologies. -- Used here with _Permisson_ : ST Informer, 909 NW Starlite Place, Grants Pass, OR 97526 No. 29 - November, 1989 -- ____-______-______-______-______-______ This Time Capsule file was produced by Len Stys. It may only be reposted with the following information included: REPOSTED FROM: The Cleveland Free-Net Atari-SIG (216)/368-3888 type 'Go Atari' at any menu (C.A.I.N.) ____-______-______-______-______-______ --
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