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NBCi tops 1Q estimates but still loses $37 million

NBCi checked in with a smaller-than-expected loss in its first quarter Monday, losing $37.4 million, or 67 cents a share, on sales of $30.1 million.

First Call Corp. consensus expected NBCi to lose 72 cents a share in the quarter.

Ahead of the earnings report, NBCi (Nasdaq: NBCI) shares closed off 2 1/8 to 18 1/16.

The $30.1 million in sales marks a 165 percent jump from the year-ago quarter when it lost $27.7 million, or $2.01 a share, on sales of $11.3 million.

"NBCi continues to perform well financially, with our revenues and gross margins pointing in the right direction," said CEO Will Lansing in a prepared release.

In the quarter, the Internet portal said it grew its ,registered membership base to 19.3 million members, up from 16.2 million members at the end of the fourth quarter.

Last quarter, it posted a loss of $51.2 million, or $1.64 a share, on sales of $27.3 million.

NBCi shares moved up to an all-time high of 106 1/8 in January before plummeting to a low of 16 7/8 earlier this month.

All six analysts covering the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy."

Analysts are expecting it to lose $2.90 a share in the fiscal year.