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Tech Industry

Musicmaker.com misses 2Q estimates by a mile

Musicmaker.com Inc. (Nasdaq: HITS) fell woefully short of analysts' estimates in its second quarter Monday, losing $3.6 million, or 34 cents a share, on sales of just $47,600.

First Call consensus expected the online music provider to lose 10 cents a share in the quarter.

Its shares were unchanged at 9 3/4 shortly after the earnings announcement.

It's one thing to miss the First Call estimate, but it's another story altogether for a company to report a loss three-times larger than expected.

Those savvy investors who decided to pass on Musicmaker.com's shaky initial public offering are probably enjoying a good laugh at this point.

Although it only had annual sales of $74,000 in 1998, lead underwrite Ferris Baker Watts had the audacity to take this stock public in early July. Of course, any company with an Internet address and a working telephone took their stock public during this frightening period.

More hilarious, the stock actually scooted up from its debut price of $14 a share to a high of 28 1/8 shortly after the IPO. Once reality set in, the stock plummeted to a low of 7 5/8 earlier this month.

The $47,671 in sales was a decent sequential improvement from the $20,100 it did in the first quarter.

"We are pleased with the continued progress of the company during the second quarter," said CEO Robert Bernardi in a prepared release. "The market for sale of custom CDs and downloadable music is still in its early stages, but we believe that we are taking the right actions to position ourselves to take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead."

What lies ahead is more red ink.

First Call consensus was expecting it to lose 40 cents a share in the fiscal year. But after losing 34 cents this quarter, it's safe to say those estimates will be revised.