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Roundup: misses, LookSmart exceeds expectations (Nasdaq: STMP) missed analyst estimates by 6 cents per share in the fourth quarter.

After market close Thursday, the online postage vendor reported a fourth quarter loss of $30.2 million, or 82 cents per share, excluding charges related to stock compensation. First Call's survey of five analysts predicted a loss of 76 cents per share.

Including special charges, lost $33.4 million, or 91 cents per share.

The development stage company, which just began selling stamps commercially a few months ago, recorded fourth quarter revenue of $357,738. More than 87,000 licensed customers have signed up in 10 weeks of operation, CEO John Payne said.

Shares of dropped 1 3/4 to 41 1/2 in Thursday's regular trading session. The stock was unchanged in afterhours trading.

Other companies reporting quarterly results:

  • LookSmart
  • (Nasdaq: LOOK) topped analyst forecasts in the fourth quarter.

    The search engine company reported fourth quarter loss of $18.3 million, or 21 cents per share, excluding writedowns and one-time charges. Including all items, LookSmart lost $21.3 million, or 25 cents per share.

    First Call's survey of three analysts predicted a loss of 31 cents per share.

    Fourth quarter revenue increased 255 percent year-over-year to $18.5 million from $5.2 million. Gross margins improved to 85 percent from 82 percent in the second quarter, and operating expenses rose just 6 percent, to $38.1 million from $35.1 million.

    LookSmart now focuses solely on its infrastructure business, which generated 90 percent of the company's fourth quarter revenue.

    For the full year 1999, LookSmart lost $49.4 million, or $1.08 per share, excluding writedowns and one-time charges, on revenue of $48.9 million.

  • Creative Technology
  • (Nasdaq: CREAF) rode its stock portfolio to higher profits in the second quarter.

    The maker of sound cards for reported net income of $44.5 million, or 52 cents per share, including $9.2 million in investment gains.

    From six technology analysts, Reuters had earlier obtained an average earnings forecast of $37.75 million for the second quarter. However, First Call's survey of four analysts excluded non-operating profit; solely on an operating basis, Creative earned $35.3 million, or 41 cents per share, a penny below the consensus estimate, according to Zack's Investment Research.

    But at least one analyst told Reuters Creative topped his forecast. Another said results were within his expectations, but held back from conclusions, pending an analysts' briefing later on Friday.

    Creative said its $436.8 million in sales was the highest quarterly revenue ever reported. It had earlier forecast $450 million revenue for the second quarter.

    During the quarter, Creative said it continued its stock buyback program, purchasing about 1.7 million shares at a cost of $25.3 million.

    The firm also incurred $16 million in operating expenses for its Internet initiatives, bringing total Internet investment for first six months to over $25 million.>