EarthLink on Tuesday reported fourth-quarter earnings that topped estimates and reflect strong growth in broadband access services. Fourth-quarter revenue was $286.8 million, up 15 percent over the third quarter. Net loss for the quarter, excluding acquisition and merger-related costs, was $52.2 million, or 40 cents a share, much narrower than the 51 cents a share expected by First Call. Losses widened from 33 cents a share in the previous quarter and a year-earlier loss of 22 cents a share.
For the quarter, broadband revenue rose to $22.9 million, a 48 percent increase over the third quarter and a 214 percent increase over the fourth quarter of 1999. The company added 76,000 broadband subscribers to end the year with a total broadband subscriber count of 215,000--up 760 percent from a year ago and up 55 percent from the third quarter.