Novell (NASDAQ:NOVL) reported a lower third-quarter profit late Thursday and said "customer uncertainty" over the company's efforts to increase shareholder value weighed on the results. 

The networking software maker posted net income of $15.7 million, or 4 cents a share, compared with $16.7 million, or 5 cents a share, compared to the same quarter last year.

The results fekk short of average analyst estimates of 7 cents a share, according to a Thomson Reuters poll.

Revenue for the Walthman, MA-based company was $199 million, down from $216 million in the same quarter last year, and missing the Street’s view of $200.17 million.

Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian said the third quarter results were below the company’s initial expectations, attributing it mostly to customer uncertainty as the board of directors continues to weigh options on the company’s potential acquirement.

But the CEO said he is “pleased” that Novell achieved consistent profitability levels.

“The growth prospects of our target markets remain strong and our focus going forward is on returning to top line growth via execution of our differentiated strategy, WorkloadIQ,” he said.

Shares of Novell fell 1.23% to $5.64, and the company fell on the news about 0.18%, or a penny, in after-hours trading.