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Tech Industry

Roundup: Winstar beats Street in 4Q

Winstar Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: WCII) posted a smaller-than-expected loss in its fourth quarter Thursday, losing $180.4 million, or $3.28 a share, on sales of $141.5 million.

First Call consensus expected the competitive local exchange carrier to lose $3.38 a share in the quarter.

Its shares closed up 2 1/16 to 83 3/4 ahead of the earnings report.

For the year, Winstar lost $700 million, or $13.72 a share, on sales of $445.6 million.

In the quarter, Winstar's gross profit margins improved to 35.4 percent, up from 10.5 percent in the year-ago quarter.

"We are pleased to report another quarter of strong growth and solid financial results," said CEO William Rouhana Jr. in a prepared release. "These achievements reflect the emerging impact of the two ongoing drivers of our success: the increasing availability of our high capacity broadband network, and the addition of new data, Internet, ASP and other services that enhance its usefulness for customers."

In the quarter, Winstar?s broadband network expanded to 60 domestic markets, up from 30 at the end of 1998. It also more than doubled its building access rights to more than 8,000 buildings at year end, with over 1,500 access rights added in the fourth quarter alone.

The company also added 161 hub leases in the year, bringing the total to 277 today, up from 116 at the end of 1998. Winstar lit 88 hubs during the year, bringing its total of lit hubs to 150, up from 62 a year ago.

Winstar shares hit a 52-week high of 86 3/8 earlier this week after falling to a low of 28 1/2 in March.

Seventeen of the 18 analysts tracking the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.

First Call consensus expects Winstar to lose $13.27 a share in fiscal 2000.

Among other technology companies reporting earnings Thursday:

  • Netgateway Inc. (Nasdaq: NGWY) posted a much wider-than-expected loss in its second quarter Thursday, losing $19.5 million, or $1.44 a share, on sales of $924,000.

    Included in operating results for the second quarter are non-cash charges relating to stock grants to executives of $11,775,000 and amortization of a discount on debt issued in connection with a private placement totaling $3,587,853. Excluding these items, the loss for the quarter totaled $4.2 million, or about 31 cents a share.

    First Call consensus expected it to lose 19 cents a share in the quarter.

    Its shares closed off 11/16 to 9 3/16 ahead of the earnings report.

    In the year-ago quarter, it lost $1.8 million, or 22 cents a share, on sales of $18,600.

    First Call consensus expects it to lose 83 cents a share in fiscal 2000.

  • TheStreet.com (Nasdaq: TSCM) beat estimates in the fourth quarter.

    The online provider of financial news and commentary reported a fourth quarter net loss of $9.1 million, or 36 cents per share, excluding one-time charges. First Call's survey of seven analysts predicted a loss of 41 cents per share.

    Including costs related to preferred dividends, stock compensation and non-recurring events, TheStreet.com lost $11.8 million, or 47 cents per share.

    Fourth quarter revenue increased to $5.1 million, up 248 percent year-over-year and a 30 percent gain sequentially. Advertising and e-commerce revenue rose to $2.9 million, from $2.1 million in the third quarter and $809,000 in the year earlier period. Subscription revenue gained 15 percent sequentially to $1.6 million.

    For the full year excluding one-time costs, TheStreet.com lost $28.4 million, or $1.35 per share, on revenue of $14.3 million.

    The company expects to post a profit before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in the second half of 2001.

  • yesmail.com (Nasdaq: YESM) surpassed analyst expectations in the fourth quarter.

    The provider of e-mail marketing technology and services lost $4.3 million, or 21 cents per share, in the fourth quarter. First Call consensus predicted a loss of 24 cents per share for the quarter ended Dec. 31.

    Fourth quarter revenue of $8.2 million represented a 114 percent gain sequentially.

    yesmail.com saw a full year loss of $14.7 million, or $1.15 per share, on revenue of $15.6 million.>