Sun trims fourth-quarter earnings by $12m

Sun Microsystems has trimmed its fourth quarter and full-year 2004 results this week, to account for final accounting of asset...

Sun Microsystems has trimmed its fourth quarter and full-year 2004 results this week, to account for final accounting of asset retirement obligations and its settlement with Microsoft.

In financial documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said its net income for the quarter ended 30 June had been revised down by $12m (£6.7m).

Consequently, its 2004 annual net loss was increased by $12m.

On 20 July, the company reported a fourth quarter profit of $795m, boosted in great part by the nearly $2bn it received as part of a legal settlement made with Microsoft earlier in the quarter.

After years of legal wrangling over patent and antitrust issues, Sun and Microsoft announced in April that they had reached a broad cooperation agreement, with Microsoft agreeing to offer hefty cash payments to settle pending litigation.

The payments helped fill Sun's coffers to the point that the cash-strapped company reported a profit instead of what would have been a loss for its fourth quarter. However, Sun said in July that the results were pending final resolution of accounting for the settlement.

Sun is due to announce its next quarterly results on 14 October.

Scarlet Pruitt writes for IDG News Service

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