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SportsLine revenue up 107%

The Web-based sports media publisher beats Wall Street expectations, announcing that it pulled in $7.4 million in revenue for the third quarter.

Web-based sports media publisher SportsLine USA beat Wall Street expectations by announcing today that it pulled in $7.4 million in revenue for the third quarter--a 107 percent increase over total revenue of $3.6 million reported for the same quarter in 1997.

The company said it posted a pro forma net loss for the quarter of $7.7 million or 41 cents per share, before the impact of a $1.1 million nonrecurring charge. A consensus of Wall Street analysts had expected the company to post a loss of 42 cents per share, according to First Call.

Excluding the nonrecurring charge, EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) was a loss of $5.2 million for the quarter ended September 30, compared to a loss of $6.5 million reported for the same quarter last year.

Shares of SportsLine, which have traded as high as 39.63 and as low as 6.38 during the past 52 weeks, rose just over half a percent to 11.06 in afternoon trading today.

"During the third quarter, SportsLine USA continued to build its position as a leader in sports information and entertainment on the Internet by expanding and enhancing content as well as aggressively pursuing unparalleled distribution agreements," Michael Levy, president and CEO of SportsLine USA, said in a statement.

At the beginning of October, SportsLine warned that revenues for its third quarter would be below market expectations but offset the earnings warning by announcing that the company was expanding its online partnership with America Online, the world's largest Internet service provider.

The company's 1997 financial results have been restated to include its January 29 acquisition of GolfWeb as a pooling-of-interests transaction.

SportLine said that average daily page views during the third quarter increased 217 percent to approximately 5.2 million, compared with average daily page views of approximately 1.6 million reported during the same quarter of 1997.

The company added that traffic during the month of September matched June's record high of 6.3 million average page views per day, citing extensive coverage of NFL Football, U.S. Open Tennis, and Major League Baseball. Daily visits averaged 520,000 in the third quarter of 1998, an increase of 120 percent over the 236,000 average daily visits recorded during the third quarter of 1997.

According to Web measurement firm Media Metrix, SportsLine's reach among users at work grew to 6.6 percent in September, compared with 4.7 percent in August. Among home users, the company registered a reach of 3.5 percent in September, compared with 3.6 percent the previous month.

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