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Cyberian Outpost gets a break

The e-commerce company's stock dips and then recovers after it reported better-than-expected results despite a widening loss.

Shares in Cyberian Outpost, an e-commerce leader, dropped as much as 17 percent before closing higher today, one day after reporting better-than-expected second-quarter results despite a widening loss.

The company posted a net loss of $5.6 million or 29 cents a share on a pro forma basis Thursday, compared with a net loss of $838,000 or 10 cents a share on a pro forma basis reported for the like quarter a year ago.

Wall Street expected the company to lose 43 cents a share, according to First Call.

The company's quarterly revenue rose to $17 million from $4.6 million last year.

Cyberian Outpost shares closed .0625 higher today at 10.1875. The shares have traded as high as 26 and as low as 5.9375 since the company went public.

Despite the company's better-than-expected financial results, its stock price has been down since its recent IPO.

The company saw its share price jump seven points over the price on its first trade after going public in late July. However, the stock is now trading at more than 40 percent below its offer price of $18 a share.

NationsBanc Montgomery Securities analyst Steve Horen reiterated a "buy" rating on the stock today with a 12-month price target of $23.

"Cyberian's...results were significantly better than our expectations with revenues of $17 million, which was 9.9 percent above our $15.5 million estimate," Horen wrote in a report. Repeat buyers and an offline marketing campaign will help contribute to strong sales momentum going into the seasonally strong second half, he added.

"Cyberian Outpost has clearly positioned itself as the leading Internet-only retailer of computer hardware, software, and peripheral products to the consumer and SOHO [small office/home office] markets," chief executive Darryl Peck said in a statement. "With net proceeds of $67 million from our July 1998 IPO, we can continue to aggressively expand our global customer base and encourage repeat buying."

The company also announced today that it doubled its customer base to 161,000 during the first half of the fiscal year and that it will begin a radio, TV, and print advertising campaign during the second half.

Cyberian Outpost also inked agreements with USA Today Online, Pathfinder, and StarMedia during the second quarter, the company said.