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CNet tops 3Q expectations

CNet (Nasdaq: CNET) beat analyst estimates in the third quarter.

After market close Tuesday, the online provider of technology news and information reported a third quarter profit of $6.2 million, or 7 cents per share, excluding amortization and investment gains. First Call's survey of 16 analysts predicted a profit of 3 cents per share for the quarter ended Sept. 30.

Including all charges and gains, CNet lost $43.6 million, or 50 cents per share.

CNet, which recently closed its acquisition of ZDNet, operates this site. On a combined basis, CNet and ZDNet earned 8 cents per share, excluding amortization and investment gains, on revenue of $110.5 million, an improvement of more than 53 percent year-over-year.

CNet predicted revenue of $120 million to $125 million in the fourth quarter and $580 million for the full fiscal 2001, as well as revenue growth ranging between 25 percent and 30 percent in 2002. Earnings before taxes, interest, depreciation and amortization should range between $18 million and $21 million in the fourth quarter, and be about $145 million in 2001, the company said.

Third quarter revenue for CNet rose to $56.4 million, an increase of almost 100 percent from $28.4 million in the year-earlier period.

The company ended the third quarter with cash and marketable securities of about $460 million.>