San/Bar Posts Loss, Cites 'Smart' Phones Gamble

San/Bar Corp., still smarting from a costly gamble on "smart" telephones in 1984, posted a net loss of $2.4 million for its 1986 fiscal year ended June 30, contrasted with net earnings of $5.5 million for fiscal 1985. The Irvine-based telecommunications firm reported 1986 revenues of $15.8 million, down 11.7% from $17.9 million.

Hal Anderson, San/Bar's secretary/treasurer, said the 1985 profits came from a $8.9-million extraordinary credit from the 1984 settlement of an unfair business practice suit filed against American Telephone & Telegraph.

Anderson blamed the 1986 loss on a $2.8-million write-off on San/Bar's discontinued Vision 2000 "smart" telephone product line. When the company bought the system, Anderson said, "smart" phones were the "rage of the communications business" but demand never materialized to enable the product to succeed, and the venture turned out to be a "financial disaster" for San/Bar, Anderson said. A so-called smart telephone contains a microprocessor and can be programmed to perform a variety of functions including dialing and remembering numbers and forwarding calls.

San/Bar's net losses for the fourth quarter of its fiscal 1986 were $1.4 million, compared to a year earlier net loss of $826,000. Revenues of $3.9 million were up 44% from $2.7 million.

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