Metricom Inc. (Nasdaq: MCOM) said Thursday its first-quarter loss widened over last year's, and it may face rollout delays in New York.
Shares in the developer of wireless networks were down 1/16 to 34 1/16. The stock has tumbled from a high of 109 1/2. Metricom has been under pressure ever since it announced big fourth quarter losses as the company continues to roll out its Ricochet product for wireless Internet connection.
The company also warned that its planned service in New York may be delayed, bogged down by zoning approvals and slow-going negotiations with utility companies.
Metricom said the first quarter's loss of $32.3 million, or $1.15 per share, was less than it had expected. It was also far off from First Call's expected loss of $2.30 a share. Results compare to a net loss of $15 million, or 80 cents per share in 1999's first quarter.
Revenue for the quarter was $3.2 million, lower than the $4.2 million in the same period a year ago. While Ricochet service revenue increased during the quarter, overall revenue declined due primarily to Metricom's strategic decisions to license UtiliNet to Schlumberger and to restrict the sale of modems for current service.
The company said loss was less than expected and was principally due to its ongoing launch of high-speed Ricochet networks in several markets across the United States.
However, the company said that while it is on track with overall the roll-out of its networks across the United States, delays in getting zoning approvals may slow the launch of networks in New York. It also is facing other delays, as negotiations with utility companies for the rights to put the company's products on their poles continue to be slow in New York and other areas, the company said.
Metricom also said that while it met its production goals for its network infrastructure, it is closely watching the availability of radio components.
Metricom competes with Bell Atlantic (NYSE: BEL), SBC Communications (NYSE: SBC), and Nextel (Nasdaq: NXTL) .