Unwired Planet Inc. (UPIP), the patent assertion company that named Boris Teksler as its CEO effective June 1, said its fiscal third quarter net loss widened to $9.65 million on higher expenses.
Reno, Nevada-based Unwired Planet said its third quarter net loss of 9 cents compared with $9.4 million, or 9 cents a share, a year ago. The loss from continuing operations was $9.56 million, versus $9.37 million.
Unwired Planet has been struggling to make a profit since acquiring a portfolio of 2,150 patents from Ericsson that many believe made it all but impossible for Unwired Planet to monetize its patents.
The much criticized deal required Unwired Planet to pay Ericsson up to 20% of the first $100 million it receives in licensing agreements, 50% of the next $400 million and 70% of any amounts above $500 million.
The company is counting on Teklser, a senior executive from Technicolor SA, a technology provider to media and entertainment sectors, to try to restructure that deal.
During a conference call with analysts, Chairman Phil Vachon hinted that restructuring the deal may not be possible. "You never want to outrun your capital," he said. "Would I like to have a better deal with Ericsson? Yeah, but that's not what I have."
Vachon said Unwired Planet would have to husband its resources and make good decisions on where and when to spend its money.
Mark Argento, an analyst at Lake Street Capital Management, who rates Unwired Planet a "buy," said in an email not to read too much into that comment.
Unwired Planet's future "is all about what Boris can get done with some of the larger players out there," Argento said. "Obviously they are paying him well and I'm guessing the guys that brought him in did their homework."
Shares of Unwired Planet fell 0.0006 cents to 59 cents in trading today. Prior to Teksler’s appointment, Unwired Planet shares had lost more than two-thirds of their value in the past year. The shares have traded between 55 cents and $2.44 over the past year.
“The business of licensing technology continues to be slow, absent litigation victories by Unwired Planet,” Vachon said in a statement. “Our cases in the United States and Europe are proceeding toward their respective conclusions.”
Vachon said Unwired Planet is “optimistic that Boris Teksler will bring new energy and approaches to realizing the value in the company's intellectual property assets."
Revenue was $1.25 million versus no revenue a year ago. Licensing expenses increased to $7.89 million from $5.47 million. General and administrative expenses fell to $2.11 million from $2.28 million.
Unwired Planet had cash and cash equivalents of $73.9 million as of March 31, 2015, down from $93.9 million as of Dec. 31, 2014.
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