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Sonicblue narrowly misses estimates

Though the consumer-electronics maker announces that first-quarter earnings fell below expectations by one penny per share, its revenue grew significantly from last year.

Consumer-electronics maker Sonicblue narrowly missed analysts' expectations for its first quarter, but reported a significant revenue increase compared with the same period a year ago.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company announced a first-quarter net loss of $16.6 million, or 18 cents a share, on revenue of $65.1 million. In the same period a year ago, Sonicblue reported a net loss of $335.8 million, or a loss of $4.16 a share.

The company's revenue was up about 23 percent from the same period a year ago, when it reported $49.9 million in revenue. However, the figure included businesses that the company has since sold, such as its graphics business. The company said that when comparing revenue from the businesses that it still has from last year, its revenue grew by 100 percent year over year.

Excluding charges, Sonicblue had a loss of $7 million, or 7 cents a share. Analysts were expecting a pro forma loss of 6 cents a share, according to earnings tracking firm First Call. Charges included amortization of goodwill, intangibles and deferred compensation, as well as a $1 million legal expense.

On April 1, Sonicblue announced that it expected revenue for the first quarter to exceed analysts' estimates of $58 million.

Sonicblue Chairman Ken Potashner attributed the company's revenue jump to strong growth in all its product lines.

"Our video and audio businesses had triple-digit growth rates, and Replay also grew substantially," Potashner said.

Potashner added that as the company launched new ReplayTV recorder models and made the gear available in more retail stores he expected rates to grow even higher.

During the call, Chief Operating Officer John Todd said that new ReplayTV models would be available in May. The company announced on Thursday that it would be charging subscription fees for its digital video recording (DVR) service to lower recorder prices and answer requests by retailers to make their recorder products more competitive with TiVo's DVRs.

The company also announced on Thursday the appointment of Marcus Smith as acting chief financial officer. Smith has been the company's vice president of finance for the past year. Smith fills the position that former CFO David Sugishita held for less than two months.

Potashner said that there would be additional executive changes in the near future.

Sonicblue shares were up 5 percent to $2.60 in after-hours trading on the Island ECN.