MicroProse sees loss of $8.3 million Firm has laid off 120 more workers

August 19, 1993|By David Conn | David Conn,Staff Writer

MicroProse Inc., a Hunt Valley computer and video game maker, said yesterday that it expects to report a loss of $8.3 million for its latest quarter, almost half of it because of a costly restructuring that includes the layoff of an additional 30 percent of its work force.

The company said it expects a loss of $1.24 a share in its first fiscal quarter, which ended June 30, compared with a loss of $1.3 million, or 19 cents a share, in the same period a year ago.

The results follow a loss of $4.9 million, or 74 cents a share, in the fourth fiscal quarter, which ended March 31. For the full year, the company lost $5.2 million, or 78 cents a share. The stock closed unchanged yesterday at $6.75 a share.

As part of a restructuring that started in March, MicroProse said yesterday that it laid off an additional 120 employees.

Together with the 25 layoffs in Hunt Valley reported last week, the company has cut 95 people in its United Kingdom, European and Japanese operations. Most of the workers were in software development, with about one-third in administration and support jobs. The company's work force now stands at about 240.

MicroProse, which makes the popular "F-15 Strike Eagle III" computer game among others, also said its chairman, John W. "Wild Bill" Stealey Sr., had resigned. Mr. Stealey, one of the company's co-founders, gave up his positions as president and chief executive in June.

The former fighter pilot, who bought the Baltimore Spirit indoor soccer team last year, had given up day-to-day control of MicroProse in May 1992, only to return this spring after his successor resigned.

Since then, the company has conducted a restructuring that has cut 40 percent of what was once a 400-person work force. MicroProse said yesterday that its decision to close facilities, trim its staff and end production of certain types of games would result in a $4.4 million charge to earnings in the first quarter.

Mr. Stealey's resignation came a bit earlier than had been announced previously. He was expected to step down upon completion of the company's pending acquisition by privately held Spectrum HoloByte Inc., an Alameda, Calif.-based producer of computer games, including "Tetris" and the "Falcon 3.0" flight simulator.

MicroProse's chief financial officer, Ronald J. Bueche, has been acting chief executive since June, and remains in that post pending the merger. The company also announced yesterday that Stephen Muirhead had been named president of U.S. operations. Mr. Muirhead, who has worked for the British Broadcasting Corp., Technicolor Inc. and Fisher-Price Inc., had just accepted a position with Spectrum HoloByte as vice president for European operations.

Analyst William Loomis, of Ferris, Baker Watts Inc., said he expected a charge during the first quarter, but not one as large as $4.4 million.

Under the merger agreement signed last month, each share of Spectrum common stock outstanding will be exchanged for six-tenths of a share of MicroProse common stock. The stockholders of Spectrum would end up owning about 60 percent of MicroProse with Spectrum officials effectively controlling the board of MicroProse.

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