MAI Systems Expects Loss, Then Rebound

(Dow Jones)

MAI Systems Corp., which last week announced plans to lay off 80 employees as part of a change in corporate direction, probably will lose money in the last two quarters this year, its top executive said Wednesday. But the company, which is shedding its computer hardware operations to concentrate on software sales and services, should post an operating profit next year, said George Bayz, president and chief executive.

Bayz, interviewed with Lewis H. Stanton, executive vice president and chief operating and financial officer, said the anticipated losses reflect MAI's effort "to cross a river" between a past business based mostly on computer hardware sales and its current role as a computer software vendor and installer. MAI sells software to hotel, gaming, and manufacturing concerns.

The executives said they found an analyst was reasonable in estimating that MAI will have an operating loss 60 cents a share this year, and will post an operating profit of about 50 cents a share next year.

Stanton cautioned, however, that the outlook for the remainder of 1997 was less certain than that of 1998. "There have been so many changes--just the nuts and bolts of the reorganization," Stanton said.

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