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Lycos reacts to improved earnings

Shares in the company gain 5 percent after it reported a narrowed fourth-quarter loss and pushed ahead to beat analysts' expectations.

Shares of Lycos rose more than 5 percent today after the company yesterday reported a narrowed fourth-quarter loss, excluding one-time charges, as it pushed ahead to beat analysts' expectations.

Lycos stock closed the day up 3.6875 points at 73.0625. Several analysts raised the company's ratings after it released its earnings report. BT Alex Brown raised Lycos to a "strong buy" from "buy" and BancAmerica Robertson Stephens raised it to "buy" from "attractive."

As earlier reported, the portal company reported a loss of $5.8 million or 32 cents a share for the quarter, compared with a loss of $575,352 or 4 cents a share a year ago.

Excluding one-time merger charges, Lycos would have posted a loss of $1.6 million or 9 cents a share, beating analysts' expectations of a loss of 13 cents a share, according to First Call.

During the quarter, Lycos acquired Guestworld, one of the largest free online Web page guestbook services. It also announced earlier this month that it would acquire directory services and email provider WhoWhere.

Lycos' revenues for the quarter reached $19 million, up from nearly $7.8 million a year ago. The company's advertising revenues for the quarter jumped 142 percent to $14 million, while its licensing, product, and other revenues achieved a slightly higher 154 percent growth rate, to $4.9 million.

For the year, the company reported revenues of $56.1 million, up from $22.3 million posted the previous year. It reported a loss for the year of $96.9 million or $6.27 a share, compared with a loss of $6.6 million or 48 cents a share reported for the previous year. Excluding the one-time charges, the net loss would have been $3.6 million, or 23 cents a share.

Earlier in the year, Lycos also acquired community builder Tripod.