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Egghead results top estimates

Egghead.com reports a fourth-quarter loss of $13.7 million, or 50 cents per share, in results that are better than Wall Street had expected.

Egghead.com today reported a fourth-quarter loss of $13.7 million, or 50 cents per share, in results that were better than Wall Street had expected.

The losses come as the computer products retailer struggles to complete its switch from brick-and-mortar stores, the last of which it closed in February 1998, to online commerce.

Egghead's quarterly loss beat the consensus estimate of a loss of 56 cents per share by 6 cents, according to First Call.

Sales for the quarter rose to $42.2 million, up 59 percent, compared with $26.6 million in the same quarter a year ago. But compared with the previous quarter, sales increased only marginally, from $41.9 million. Year-to-year, online revenue increased from $59.7 million in fiscal year 1998 to $148.7 million in fiscal year 1999, the company said.

For fiscal 1999, the company reported a loss of $1.40 per share on revenues of $148.7 million. Revenues totaled $293 million in fiscal 1998, but that figure also included sales at its brick-and-mortar stores, the company said.

Last year Egghead closed its retail stores and shifted its focus solely to e-commerce. Despite the costly transition, CEO George Orban said it was the right decision.

"Our brand now is among the strongest on the Internet, and our new business model is taking shape," Orban said in a statement.