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Cyberian Outpost&#039s 4Q loss widens

Cyberian Outpost squeaked by analysts' estimates in its fourth quarter Tuesday but still posted a loss of $9.8 million, or 41 cents a share, on sales of $76.1 million.

First Call consensus expected the online retailer to lose 42 cents a share in the quarter.

Cyberian Outpost (Nasdaq: COOL) shares fell 1 11/16, or 16 percent, to 9 1/8 following the earnings report.

In the quarter, Cyberian added 163,000 new customers, bringing its total to more than 627,000.

Gross profit margins improved to 11.9 percent from 3.2 percent in the year-ago quarter.

In the year-ago quarter, it lost $7.8 million, or 34 cents a share, on sales of $33.1 million.

For the year, it dropped $35.6 million, or $1.52 a share, on sales of $188.6 million compared to a loss of $26 million, or $1.64 a share, on sales of $85.2 million in fiscal 1999.

"We are very pleased with our strong fourth quarter and full year performance," said CEO Bob Bowman in a prepared release. "We are achieving strong progress in our four most important indicators; sales are up sharply and accelerating, gross margins are improving steadily, customer acquisition costs are falling, and the value of our new customer is growing dramatically."

Cyberian Outpost shares moved up to a 52-week high of 21 5/16 last March before falling to a low of 7 5/8 in February.

Three of the five analysts tracking the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.

First Call consensus expects it to lose $1.30 a share in fiscal 2001.