24/7 Media tops estimates in third quarter

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24/7 Media Inc. (Nasdaq: TFSM) posted a smaller-than-expected loss in its third quarter Tuesday, but it still lost $11.7 million, or 55 cents a share, on sales of $24.3 million.

First Call consensus expected the Internet advertising and marketing company to lose 61 cents a share.

Its shares closed off 3/8 to 52 11/16 ahead of the earnings report.

The $24.3 million in sales represents an impressive 319 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it lost $6 million, or 49 cents a share, on sales of $5.8 million.

In the quarter, 24/7's mail division reported sales of $2.5 million, a 297 percent jump from the third quarter.

"Our third quarter results continue to prove that the strategies we have put into place are succeeding in expanding our business and allowing us to exceed our growth objectives," said CEO David Moore in a prepared release. "We continue to diversify our portfolio of Internet advertising and marketing solutions and expand our network into international markets."

24/7 Media delivered an aggregate of approximately 2.5 billion ad impressions in the month of September. According to Media Metrix, the 24/7 Media networks reached 55.5 percent of all U.S. Internet users, and 35 million unique users visited one or more of 24/7 Media's Web sites in September.

Its shares moved up to an all-time high of 69 5/8 in April after trading at 15 1/2 last November.

All nine analysts following the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy."

First Call consensus expects it to lose 72 cents a share in the fourth quarter and $2.17 a share in the fiscal year.