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CompuServe reports loss

The online service is reporting a second-quarter loss, but not as great as Wall Street expected, as revenue from CompuServe's network services grew over the previous quarter.

CompuServe (CSRV) today reported a narrower loss than Wall Street expected in its second quarter, as revenue growth from its network services helped its financial picture.

CompuServe posted a net loss of $13.5 million, or 15 cents per share, for the quarter ending October 31, compared with a loss of $58 million, or 63 cents per share, a year ago. But excluding a one-time charge of $15.5 million for employee-retention bonuses and other items related to the recent WorldCom (WCOM) acquisition of the Internet service company, CompuServe would have posted a net loss of 4 cents a share.

That's slightly less than Wall Street expectations of a loss of 5 cents a share, according to First Call.

WorldCom said today it expected the CompuServe acquisition to close during the first quarter next year, pending regulatory approval. In September, WorldCom acquired CompuServe and America Online's (AOL) network services company.

Revenues reached $205.4 million in the quarter, up from $214 million a year ago, according to the company.

The company saw revenues from its network services increase 32 percent over the same quarter last year to $84 million, representing 41 percent of the company's total revenue. However, CompuServe said revenues for its interactive services dropped to $116 million compared with the first quarter figure of $124.2 million.

The company said worldwide subscribers to its interactive online service fell to 2,490,000 at the end of the quarter from 2,637,000.