Level 8 Systems

(Nasdaq:LVEL) lost $11.9 million in the first quarter of 2001. That comes to 78 cents per share excluding goodwill and software amortization and one-time charges.

In the first quarter of 2000, losses were a far milder 24 cents per share, and in the fourth quarter the company lost 3 cents per share.

Aggregate losses including one-time expenses came to $48.9 million, compared with $8 million losses in the comparable quarter of 2000.

A loss of $3.9 million was generated by doubtful debts following the bankruptcy of customer Winstar Communications.

Revenues for the quarter dropped to $7.9 million, 60% less than the fourth quarter, when revenues totaled $19.5 million. In the first quarter of 2000, revenues came to $17 million.

Level 8 is an American company s controlled by Tel Aviv-based Liraz Systems, which is traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Level 8 specializes in eBusiness integration software. The integration enables enterprises to integrate legacy systems with new systems.

Due to the hardships the company has suffered last year, it laid off 150 workers and has recently implemented a restructuring plan. This involved executive reshuffling. The company changed its focus to customer relationship management (CRM) for financial institutions.

Level 8 began marketing its Cicero product in the first quarter. Cicero enables organizations to save 20% of the workforce in customer-support centers.

But its first quarter results suggest that Level 8 is still embroiled in difficulties.

Sale of software licenses came to $1.1 million, ten times less than the comparable quarter in 2000. The drop is attributed to the weakness on the markets. Most of the revenues came from maintenance services that have low profit-margin rates. The company has posted low gross loss and huge operating expenses.

When announcing the results, Level 8 Chairman and CEO Anthony Pizi preferred to focus on the company's reorganization. He said that the restructuring has been successful, and that the company is well equipped both in terms of the quality of its product and in terms of its workforce.

But reverting to profit will be no easy matter, going by its present results.