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Freemarkets tops 4Q estimates

Freemarkets (Nasdaq: FMKT) topped consensus analyst estimates in the fourth quarter.

After market close Monday, the operator of online business marketplaces reported a fourth quarter loss of $10.4 million, or 27 cents per share, excluding special charges. First Call consensus predicted a loss of 31 cents per share on revenue of $31.2 million.

Shares of Freemarkets traded at 25.625 in afterhours activity on the Island electronic communications network, immediately following the release of quarterly results. Freemarkets rose 1.5625 to 26.6875 in Monday's regular trading ahead of the report.

Including one-time acquisition charges and costs related to stock compensation, Freemarkets lost $44.6 million, or $1.17 per share.

Fourth quarter revenue increased 340 percent year-over-year and 30 percent sequentially to $34.5 million, 10.5 percent higher than First Call's forecast. Volume on the company's marketplaces rose 18 percent sequentially to $3.5 billion, on with 2,432 auctions conducted.

Gross margins in the fourth quarter increased 50 percent, from 46 percent in the third quarter.

For the full year, Freemarkets lost $43.9 million, or $1.18 per share, excluding one-time costs. Including all items, Freemarkets in 2000 lost $156.4 million, or $4.21 per share, on revenue of $91.3 million.>