Netscape Analysis Report
Accounting 2 Honors
Netscape Communications Corporation, originally named Mosaic Communications Corporation (MCOM) was founded in April 1994 by Jim
Clark and Marc Andreessen. They released their first browser products free to Internet users in September 1994. Jim Clark is chairman of
Netscape Communications Corporation. Before founding the company, Clark was the chairman of Silicon Graphics, a computer hardware
manufacturer he founded in 1982. Marc Andreessen is vice president of technology for Netscape Communications. He helped develop the
original graphical World Wide Web browser, Mosaic, while he was at the University Of Illinois at Urbana/Champlain.
The Internet is a global network connecting thousands of networks by use of high speed digital lines called ATMs, T3s and T1s.
It was just being introduced to the general public at the time of Netscape's conception and they would NOT have been successful if they
had not had this timing advantage.
Netscape's corporate headquarters are in Mountain View, California -- in the heart of the Silicon Valley. However, due to the nature of
the global networks its software transmits over, Netscape is able to sell worldwide via the Internet. There are virtually no walls to its
"retail outlets." Its software products are also distributed through computer stores worldwide.
III. Product Line
Netscape Navigator is a software program to browse information available on the Internet. It is available for all common computer
system platforms, including 16-bit PC, 32-bit PC, Macintosh, and all UNIX systems. Navigator also allows people to check their e-mail on
the Internet through use of a password (MIME) encoding scheme.
Netscape Server is a piece of software that installs on UNIX and Windows NT based systems that allows serving of data on the Internet's
World Wide Web. It also provides for secure transactions such as those involving credit cards.
IV. Corporate Structure
The founders, Jim Clark and Marc Andreessen, own 35% of the company. There are other major shareholders, and it is also publicly
held. The board of directors and other executive management are listed in the following table:
James H. Clark- Chairman of the Board
James L. Barksdale- President, Chief Executive Officer and Director
Marc L. Andreessen- Vice President, Technology and Director
Peter L.S. Currie- Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Conway Rulon-Miller-Vice President, Sales and Field Operations
Michael J. Homer- Vice President, Marketing
Roberta R. Katz-Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
Richard M. Schell- Vice President, Engineering
James C.J. Sha- Vice President and General Manager, Integrated Applications
Kandis Malefyt- Vice President, Human Resources
L. John Doerr- Director
John E. Warnock- Director
Netscape has 4 major competitors: Spry Mosaic, Spyglass Mosaic, Microsoft Internet Explorer, and Sun's HotJava. However, Netscape
dominates its market with an approximate 80% market share. It is the current industry standard for WWW browsing software, due to its
Spry Mosaic is a piece of WWW Browser software designed by CompuServe's Spry division. It poses no threat to Netscape because of its
inability to process e-mail and Usenet news.
Spyglass Mosaic is a WWW browser developed by part of the team that worked on the original web browser (NCSA Mosaic). It is a
major competitor because of its slightly superior user interface as well as its alliance with Microsoft.
Microsoft Internet Explorer is a browser that was originally developed for use with the Microsoft Network. It is comparable to Netscape
in every aspect but one: There is NO user support.
HotJava is a browser designed by Sun Microsystems. However, it is not technically a competitive product, as it is mostly used to run Java
applets (little WWW programs built into the "pages").
The competition in the web browser market involves little to no advertising, as well as a good eye for the market.
The company has received a tremendous amount of publicity about its recent public offering of stock, as well as its incredibly low cost
software. Any publicity about the Internet usually centers on Netscape and its web browsers and servers. Also, there usually is an article
about Netscape in the paper every day. The only negative publicity about Netscape describes how its stock is way overvalued.
VII. Financial Statements
According to the balance sheet, the current ratio as of December 31, 1995, is 3 to 1. As of December 31, 1994, the ratio was only 1.4 to 1.
This shows significantly improved liquidity between 1994 and 1995. This is due to Netscape's public offering of stock in August 1995,
which increased their current assets (specifically cash and cash equivalents). The company received approximately $130,000,000 from the
stock offering. It has very little long-term debt, at $1.2 million. One could conclude Netscape is a very financially sound company.
According to the income statement, Netscape's 1995 revenue, at $80 million, is significantly higher than its 1994 revenue, which was $1.4
million. Netscape's 1995 gross profit was $69.5 million, at a gross profit percentage of 86?%. This is an incredible gross profit percentage,
but not unexpected, given that Netscape sells software that has a very minimal manufacturing cost. Netscape's net loss decreased between
1994 and 1995, from $12 million to $3.4 million, respectively. Netscape spends a substantial amount of resources on Research &
Development Expense and Sales & Marketing Expense. Netscape, although still unprofitable, has great potential for the next 5 years. In
fact, in the 4th quarter of 1995, Netscape showed a profit.
Please see attached sheet
IX. Other Information
A. Netscape is involved in a project to put all of California's public schools on the Internet. (Star Ledger, "Net Day '96")
B. America Online entered into a partnership with Netscape to have Netscape's browser software available to AOL users. (3/12/96, DJIN)
C. CompuServe entered into a licensing agreement with Netscape to let CompuServe's users use Netscape as their primary browser
software. (3/11/96, DJIN)
Ã‚Â· I would suggest this stock as a good investment in the Stock Market Game because its price fluctuates enough to earn a decent profit
from trading it.
Ã‚Â· I would not, however, suggest Netscape as a good investment in real life until its price becomes lower, because it seems to be on a
downward trend. (Although Netscape is a good long-term investment as well, because of its potential and the demand for the Internet)
Netscape 10Q Quarterly Report (4th quarter 1995)
Netscape 1995 Annual Report
Netscape Prospectus for Public Offering Of Stock
Star Ledger, "Net Day '96", ?
Dow Jones News Retrieval Service, (3/11/96, 3/12/96)