2nd-Quarter Deficit Causes Bulk of AST’s Yearly Loss

Times Staff Writer

AST Research Inc. reported a $7.5-million loss for its fiscal year, a figure softened somewhat by an unexpected $2.5-million fourth-quarter profit.

The annual loss for the fiscal year ended June 30 is a long slide from the $15.1-million profit that the Irvine-based personal computer manufacturer earned in fiscal 1988. The fourth-quarter profit, though double what some industry analysts had expected, still was down 68% from the $7.7 million earned in last year’s final quarter.

“The results for the fourth quarter were above expectations,” said Harvey Allison, an analyst with the New York brokerage of Wertheim Schroder & Co.

Wall Street reacted positively as AST’s stock closed Wednesday at $8.875 a share, up 25 cents from Tuesday’s close.


AST’s revenue for its fiscal year increased 11% to $457 million this year from $413 million last year. Its fourth-quarter revenue fell 9% to $123.5 million this year from $136 million in last year’s fiscal fourth quarter.

The bulk of the company’s yearly loss came from a poor second quarter, ended Dec. 31, that resulted in an $8.9-million loss and the termination of 70 workers in Orange County.

“Sometime last summer capacity exceeded demand, and suddenly there were more products than customers,” said Harvey Allison, an analyst with Wertheim Schroder.

AST has since offered a more advanced personal computer that the company hopes will improve sales and profits.


“This year the difference is we have a much broader product line,” said Bruce Edwards, chief financial officer.


Net Income (loss) Sales 1st Quarter 1989 $306,000 $108.4 million 2nd Quarter 1989 ($8.9 million) $110.9 million 3rd Quarter 1989 ($1.3 million) $113.8 million 4th Quarter 1989 $2.5 million $123.5 million