Real Networks misses earnings targets, plans more spinoffs

Real Networks missed its earnings targets and reiterated its plans to split itself up into different companies.

Blaming the recession, Real reported revenues of $145.5 million, slightly above the expected $143.5 million. But the net loss was $13.3 million, or 11 cents a share. That compares with a loss of $240.5 million, or $1.78 a share, for the same quarter a year ago. Excluding one-time items, the loss was 7 cents a share. Analysts had expected 6 cents a share.

The company faces a difficult balancing act as it tries to holds its businesses together and split itself up at the same time. The company announced plans to spin off its Rhapsody music division and reiterated a plan that, after it takes care of the music spinoff, it will also spin off its Real Arcade game business.

Bob Kimball, the acting chief executive who replaced longtime CEO Rob Glaser, said in his first public comments today that Real Networks is setting about rebuilding itself.

The company’s “most important asset” is the games platform that allows it to distribute to online sites, download sites, social, and mobile gaming outlets. Real Networks promised under prior CEO Glaser that it would spin off the game company. Kimball said the company still plans to do so, but it has been hampered by industry conditions. The recession hasn’t helped the game business, and much of the excitement in the industry has shifted to social games, away from Real’s focus of providing downloadable casual games. The music business is expected to be spun off by March 31.

Meanwhile, Real Networks will focus on its global media entertainment platform, or the Real Player, and its software-as-a-service business. The plan, Kimball said, is to simplify, restructure and then grow. Real Networks will separate the music and games businesses into stand-alone companies and discontinue unprofitable businesses. The company will also reduce its overhead, meaning it will be laying off some of its staff.