Earnings roundup: Garden.com, Medscape top estimates

4 min read

Medscape Inc. (Nasdaq: MSCP) delivered impressive sales growth in its third quarter but still lost $7.8 million, or 41 cents a share, on sales of $2.2 million. Its shares closed up 27/32 to 9 5/16.

First Call consensus expected the online health information provider to lose 46 cents a share in the quarter.

The $2.2 million in sales represents a 361 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it lost $1.1 million, or 35 cents a share, on sales of $480,000.

In the quarter, Medscape grew its membership base to 1.4 million users, up 78 percent versus the year-ago quarter and 20 percent from the second quarter.

Page views jumped 93 percent from the same time last year to 29 million and up 35 percent from the 21.5 million page views it recorded in the second quarter.

  • MediaOne Group (NYSE: UMG) beat analyst estimates in what might be its last quarter as an independent company.

    The cable service provider reported a third quarter loss of 36 cents per share from continuing operations, not including gains from investment sales required to complete the company's acquisition by AT&T. First Call consensus predicted a loss of 38 cents per share.

    Revenue increased 11 percent year-over-year on a pro forma basis, to $674 million from $610 million. MediaOne reported strong sales of premium cable services and pay-per-view events, largely because of continued growth in digital and advanced analog services as cable networks were upgraded.

    MediaOne in the quarter picked up an additional 73,000 subscribers, including 16,000 for telephone and 33,000 for high-speed data.

    During the third quarter, more than 99 percent of voting shareholders approved the company's sale to AT&T, said Chuck Lillis, chairman and CEO of MediaOne. "I'm quite pleased with both our operational results and prepareations for the merger," he said.

    As part of the merger, MediaOne is selling its share of 11 overseas properties for about $11 billion. The company had spent less than $2 billion on those investments. "We've received phenomenal value for the investments we've sold, and the sales process is continuing at a fast pace," Lillis said.

  • Edgar Online (Nasdaq: EDGR) posted a third quarter loss in line with analyst estimates.

    The online provider of filings to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission reported a third quarter loss of $864,000, or 7 cents per share, in line with the prediction of the lone analyst polled by First Call.

    Third quarter revenue rose to $1.52 million, up 46 percent from the second quarter and nearly triple from the year earlier period, when Edgar Online lost $266,000, or 4 cents per share, on revenue of $511,000. Revenue from data mining services for corporations increased 250 percent, company President Tom Vos said. Edgar Online now has triple the number of corporate customers from a year ago, he added.

    Advertising revenue increased 300 percent year-over-year, largely because of the purchase of the FreeEdgar website.

  • Wink Communications (Nasdaq: WINK) topped analyst estimates by a wide margin in its first quarter since going public.

    The interactive television service provider reported a third quarter loss of $4.5 million, or 24 cents per share. First Call's survey of two analysts predicted a loss of 31 cents per share for the quarter ended Sept. 30.

    Third quarter revenue of $469,000 represented a 355 percent improvement from $103,000 in the year ago period, when Wink lost $3.8 million.

    Wink's service was being viewed in 83,000 households at the end of September, although that figure has since broken the 100,000 mark, the company said.

    Wink went public in August.

    Its September initial public offering raised $54.4 million in operating capital.

    However, since climbing to a high of 17 1/16 shortly after that IPO, the stock has struggled mightily. It fell to a low of 8 in October.

    "Medscape had an extremely busy quarter in which we closed on three critical strategic relationships, launched a fabulous new consumer healthcare site, achieved record registered membership levels, recorded record third quarter revenues and completed a successful public offering," said CEO Paul Sheils in a prepared release.

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

    First Call consensus expects it to lose $1.84 a share in the fiscal year.

    Among other technology companies reporting earnings Tuesday:

  • musicmaker.com Inc. (Nasdaq: HITS) posted a third-quarter loss of $8.2 million, or 29 cents a share, on sales of $190,000.

    That $190,000 in sales is rather paltry, but it does mark a respectable improvement from the $12,000 in sales it did in the year-ago quarter. That quarter, it lost $1.1 million, or 23 cents a share.

    musicmaker.com shares closed off 3/16 to 7 1/8 ahead of the earnings report.

    There was no First Call consensus estimate for its third-quarter results.

    The stock peaked at 28 1/8 in July before falling to a low of 7 1/4 in October.

  • Garden.com Inc. (Nasdaq: GDEN) beat Street estimates in its third quarter, losing $5.6 million, or 41 cents a share, on sales of $1.4 million.

    First Call consensus pegged the online gardening information provider to lose 48 cents a share in the quarter.

    The $1.4 million marks a 294 percent jump from the $358,000 in sales it recorded in the year-ago period.

    Its shares closed up 1 1/4 to 14 1/4 ahead of the earnings report.>