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Earnings Roundup: eMerge sales take off

eMerge Interactive posted a fourth-quarter loss of $4.9 million, or $1.48 a share, on sales of $25.4 million, more than double the amount it lost in the year-ago quarter.

However, the business-to-business e-commerce company that's knee-deep in the U.S. cattle industry did improve its sales more than 3,600 percent from the year-ago quarter when it lost $2.2 million, or 37 cents a share, on sales of $686,000.

eMerge (Nasdaq: EMRG) shares closed up 5 1/8 to 53 1/8 ahead of the earnings report.

There was no First Call consensus estimate for eMerge this quarter.

The strong revenue growth caps a whirlwind month for the online cattle auctioneer.

After its auspicious initial public offering on Feb. 4, the stock surged to an all-time high of 70 1/2 before collapsing to a low of 39 in just a couple of weeks.

For the year, eMerge Interactive lost $15.6 million, or $3.11 a share, on sales of $43.8 million. In fiscal 1998, it lost $7.8 million, or $1.80 a share, on sales of $1.8 million.

Company officials also unveiled plans to launch its virtual storefront e-commerce site within the next two quarters.

"We are on track to launch our virtual storefront e-commerce site over the next two quarters," said CEO Chuck Abraham in a prepared release. "This platform will compliment our existing suite of online service offerings by enabling our customers to remotely access our eMerge branded products, heath products and general cattle related items."

eMerge's IPO raised more than $107 million in operating capital.

Among other technology companies reporting earnings Tuesday:

  • Evolving Systems slipped past analysts' estimates in its fourth quarter Tuesday, earning $494,000, or 4 cents a share, on sales of $11 million.

    Its shares closed up 3/16 to 13 7/8 ahead of the earnings report.

    First Call consensus pegged the software and consulting services company to earn 3 cents a share in the quarter.

    The $11 million in sales marks a 31 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when Evolving Systems (Nasdaq: EVOL) lost $3.4 million, or 29 cents a share, on sales of $8.4 million.

    For the year, it lost $4.1 million, or 34 cents a share, on sales of $40.5 million, including a $3.2 million charge related to a legal settlement in the first quarter. In fiscal 1998, it lost $11.3 million, or $1.43 a share, on sales of $37.2 million.

    During the quarter, licensing local number portability (LNP) technology grew to $3.7 million from $3.1 million in the third quarter. Local number portability allows telephone customers keep the same phone number if they change service providers.

    "The outlook for LNP revenue for 2000 is good, with 2001 possibly being the year we'll see strong sales to the wireless industry," said CEO George Hallenbeck in a prepared release. "We expect our core business to remain strong in 2000, while we grow both our LNP and our systems integration business for wired and wireless carriers."

    Evolving Systems shares hit a 52-week high of 15 3/16 in February after falling to a low of 3 3/4 in August.

    First Call consensus expects it to earn 25 cents a share in fiscal 2000.

    Two of the three analysts tracking the stock rate it a "hold" while the other calls it a "buy."

    Cybershop.com Inc. (Nasdaq: CYSP) posted a fourth-quarter loss of $4.4 million, or 50 cents a share, on sales of $2.7 million.

    Its shares closed off 15/16 to 3 15/16 ahead of the earnings report.

    There was no First Call consensus estimate for Cybershop.com this quarter.

    In the year-ago quarter, it lost $4.3 million, or 59 cents a share, on sales of $227,000.

    For the year, Cybershop.com lost $10.2 million, or $1.27 a share, on sales of $7 million compared to a loss of $8 million, or $1.19 a share, on sales of $227,000.

    In addition, the company said it was exiting two of its online retailing operations as part of its ongoing transformation to its new business model as Internet incubator.