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StarMedia beats 3Q estimates

StarMedia Network (Nasdaq: STRM) lost less than analysts expected in the third quarter.

After market close Monday, the Latin American portal operator reported a third quarter loss of $32 million, or 48 cents per share, excluding special charges. First Call's survey of a dozen analysts predicted a loss of 59 cents per share for the quarter ended Sept. 30.

Shares of StarMedia traded at 5.5 in afterhours activity on the Island electronic communications network, immediately following the release of quarterly results. StarMedia's stock price fell 0.90625 to 5.21875 in Monday's regular trading, prior to the third quarter report.

Including $3.9 million in charges related to previously announced cost-cutting moves, StarMedia lost $36 million, or 54 cents per share.

Third quarter revenue increased 205 percent year-over-year and 25 percent sequentially to $17.1 million.

Monthly users in September, excluding the Cade? Web directory, rose to 15 million, up 25 percent from 12 million at the end of June. Including Cade?, StarMedia had 17.8 million users in September. StarMedia's page views rose to 3.3 billion, up 19 percent from the second quarter and 180 percent from the year-ago period.

"We have successfully delivered robust revenue growth," said Fernando Espuelas, chairman and CEO. "We have also experienced strong growth of our user base. ... At the same time, we are leveraging operating efficiencies in our business, driving aggressively toward our fourth quarter 2001 profitability target."

StarMedia's third quarter came on the same day as rival El Sitio (Nasdaq: LCTO) unveiled a plan to merge with Cisneros Television Group.

• StarMedia investors want growth, not cuts
• StarMedia slips after beating 2Q estimates>