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TiVo doubles revenue for quarter

The digital video recorder service company doubles revenue for the fourth quarter and expects to raise additional revenue through an uptick in subcribers.

Digital video recorder service company TiVo said on Thursday that revenue was up for its fourth quarter and reported a lower-than-expected net loss.

The San Jose, Calif.-based company said for its fourth quarter ended Jan. 31, revenue was $13.7 million, up twofold compared with the same period a year ago when revenue was $6.8 million. TiVo reported a net loss of $14.7 million, or 25 cents per share, which improved on last year's fourth-quarter net loss of $41.6 million, or 92 cents per share.

The figures beat analysts' estimates of a loss of 32 cents per share, according to financial research firm FirstCall.

TiVo also said it signed up about 115,000 new subscribers in the fourth quarter for a total of about 624,000 subscribers as of Jan. 31. Its base of subscribers grew 64 percent during its fiscal year.

"We delivered record subscriber growth, we added important consumer-electronics companies who have licensed TiVo technology and will deliver TiVo products this year, and we accomplished a key financial objective in Q4, reporting positive cash flow for the quarter," TiVo CEO Mike Ramsay said in a statement.

CFO David Courtney said during a conference call that the company achieved all its goals for the quarter with strong subscriber growth, expanding revenue through licensing and achieving positive cash flow.

TiVo reported $2.2 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA ) in the fourth quarter, compared with a loss of $23.8 million in the same period a year ago.

For the year, TiVo reported revenue of $60.2 million compared with $19.4 million last year and a net loss of $55.2 million, or $1.08 per share, compared with a net loss of $160.7 million, or $3.74 per share, for last year.

Despite strong holidays sales, TiVo did not meet its forecast given in November for additional subscribers in the fourth quarter. TiVo said it expected to sign up between 120,000 to 130,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter.

During a conference call, Ramsay said that retailers did not have enough inventory in the holiday season to meet demand for digital video recorders. The holidays are TiVo's best season for sales and subscriber activations. Still, getting 115,000 subscriptions in the fourth quarter was a quarterly record for the company.

TiVo was able to increase the number of subscribers despite raising its lifetime and monthly subscription fees. TiVo raised its lifetime subscription fee once again earlier this year.

Courtney added that the mix of lifetime and monthly subscribers is about 50-50.

Licensing played a bigger role this quarter to revenue accounting for 35 percent through deals with Samsung, Philips, Toshiba, Sony and Hughes.

The company expects to raise additional revenue as Series2 box owners subscribe for TiVo's $99 Home Media Option software, which takes advantage of the popularity of home networking and helps TiVo boxes to access and share content on networks.

TiVo said it expected to add 450,000 to 600,000 subscribers in its fiscal year 2004, which would result in over 1 million subscribers. The company expects between 55,000 to 65,000 of those subscribers to come from its current quarter with revenue between $13.5 million and $14.5 million. For the year, TiVo expects revenue to range between $62 million to $70 million.

TiVo shares closed at $6.29 per share, up 6 cents, or less than one percent, to $6.35 in after-hours trading.