Takeover Fight a Factor : MAI Reports Earnings Slump for Latest Quarter

Times Staff Writer

MAI Basic Four Inc.'s 5-month-old takeover fight with Prime Computer Inc. evidently is hurting the bottom lines of both the pursuer and the pursued.

MAI, a Tustin computer company that is making a hostile bid for Prime, said Friday that its sales and earnings dropped for the latest quarter in contrast with the year before.

A day earlier, Prime, a Natick, Mass., minicomputer company, reported a $5-million loss for its latest quarter. Prime put the blame for the loss on $6.3 million in expenses related to the takeover battle.

For the fiscal second quarter ended March 31, MAI earnings fell 62% to $2.4 million, from $6.3 million for the period for the year before. Revenue dipped slightly to $104.7 million, from $105.4 million a year ago.

For the 6-month period, MAI revenue increased 11.4% to $212.1 million, from $190.6 million. Earnings have fallen 33.9% to $7.9 million, from $11.9 million.

MAI President William B. Patton Jr. put the blame for the lower quarterly revenue and earnings on a weaker U.S. dollar that reduced the value of European sales, a slowdown in sales of middle range computers and "adverse publicity" about the takeover fight.

Product orders during the first 6 months declined 5%, mainly because of lower sales in Europe. Sales in the United States were up over last year, Patton said.

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