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Allied Riser 4Q loss less than expected

Allied Riser Communications Corp. (Nasdaq: ARCC) reported smaller-than-expected loss for its fourth quarter Thursday. The company said net loss was 48 cents a share, better than the loss of 58 cents a share predicted by First Call.

The company also said it surpassed its own goals in securing real estate access and building out its broadband fiber optic network.

Shares in the company closed Wednesday at 20 13/16. ARC, which provides high-speed broadband Internet data, video and voice communications services to small and medium-sized businesses, just launched its IPO in October.

Network services revenue for the quarter ended December 31 was $881,000, a 99 percent sequential increase over $442,000 in the third quarter of 1999, and a big improvement over the $108,000 in revenue brought in during the same period in 1998, the company said. The increase in revenue was due to ARC's increase in customers, which grew by more than 40 percent in the fourth quarter.

"We have now completed construction of our fiber optic network in buildings with more than 80 million square feet of prime commercial office space across the nation, and are bringing substantial numbers of new customers on line,'' ARC Chief Executive Officer David Crawford said in a press release.

During the fourth quarter, ARC also inked agreements to install its broadband ARC LightSpeed Network in 60 more buildings with more than 35 million rentable square feet of space.

The company invested $22,184,000 during the quarter in property and equipment to build its fiber optic network and systems. As of December 31, ARC had cash and investments of $314.6 million.

The net loss for the fourth quarter was $22.4 million, compared with $18.3 million for the quarter ended September 30, 1999 and $6.2 in the quarter ended December 31, 1998. Earnings before net interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the quarter ended December 31, 1999 were negative $16.2 million compared with negative $11 million for the quarter ended September 30, and a negative $5.3 million for the quarter ended December 31.