24/7 Media's 2Q loss smaller than expected

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24/7 Media slipped past analysts' estimates in its second quarter Wednesday, posting a loss of $13.3 million, or 49 cents a share, on sales of $52.2 million.

First Call Corp. consensus expected it to lose 50 cents a share in the quarter.

24/7 Media (Nasdaq: TFSM) shares closed up 1 3/16, or 12 percent, to 11 1/4 ahead of the earnings report.

The $52.2 million in sales represents a 204 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it lost $4.7 million, or 24 cents a share, on sales of $17.2 million.

"We are very pleased with the financial results for the second quarter,'' said CEO David Moore in a prepared release. "We are aggressively growing our global business and maintaining our leadership position, while balancing the need to reduce costs and leverage resources throughout the organization. Our goal is to translate revenue gains into profitability as quickly as possible."

Earlier this quarter, Moore predicted the company would find itself in the black by sometime in 2001.

Last quarter, 24/7 topped analysts' estimates when it posted a loss of $11.2 million, or 44 cents a share, on sales of $46.2 million.

24/7 Media shares hit a 52-week high of 65 1/4 in January before plunging to a low of 9 5/16 earlier this month.

All 16 analysts following the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.

First Call Corp. consensus expects it to lose $1.93 a share in the fiscal year.