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Liberate tops Street estimates in 4Q

Liberate Technologies topped Street estimates in its fourth quarter Thursday when it posted a loss of $11.4 million, or 13 cents a share, on sales of $9.1 million.

Analysts surveyed by First Call Corp. predicted Liberate (Nasdaq: LBRT) would lose 20 cents a share in the quarter.

Ahead of the earnings report, Liberate closed off 1 45/64 to 23 55/64.

The $9.1 million in sales marks a 78 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it lost $9.5 million, or 16 cents a share, on sales of $5.1 million.

"We are rapidly moving to the deployment phases of our customer base, as we saw this quarter with Telewest and Insight Communications," said CEO Mitchell Kertzman in a prepared release. "We also continued to strengthen the Liberate platform by completing two strategic acquisitions, and forging partnerships with significant industry leading players."

Including all charges, Liberate posted a loss of $37 million, or 41 cents a share, in the quarter.

For the year, Liberate lost $80.8 million, or $1.14 a share, on sales of $28 million, a 62 percent jump from fiscal 1999 when it lost $43.3 million, or 52 cents a share, on sales of $17.3 million.

Last quarter, it posted a loss of $12.1 million, or 14 cents a share, on sales of $7.5 million.

Its shares have fallen into a slump after its January stock split.

The stock peaked at 148 1/2 in December after bottoming out at 7 3/16 in August.

All six analysts following the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy."

First Call Corp. consensus expects it to lose 92 cents a share in fiscal 2001.