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ICG posts huge 3Q loss, announces layoffs

Internet Capital Group posted a third-quarter loss of $263.9 million, or 94 cents a share, on sales of $16.4 million. It said it will lay off 35 percent of its workforce and take at fourth-quarter charge of between $25 million to $30 million.

There was no First Call Corp. consensus estimate for the Internet incubator in the quarter.

Ahead of the earnings report, Internet Capital Group (Nasdaq: ICGE) shares finished off $2.06 to $16.25.

"As ICG and the B2B market continue to grow and evolve, ICG is focusing human and capital resources on partner companies with the most potential to return near-term value for our shareholders," said CEO Walter Buckley in a prepared release. "We are also taking decisive action to strengthen our financial position while continuing to build on our proven track record of value creation."

Company officials said it invested $1.7 billion into a narrow field of 15 privately held companies that met "stringent" investment criteria.

It also will continue to support its network of private U.S. companies with an emphasis on those that are developing and close to achieving these criteria but currently fall short of one or more of these disciplined measurements.

"Partner companies that do not meet these criteria over time, or where ICG does not own a meaningful stake, will be managed to maximize value," the company said in a prepared release.

Last quarter, ICG posted a loss of $186.9 million, or 70 cents a share.

Its shares raced up to a 52-week high of $212 in January before plunging to a low of $9 a share in October.

Seventeen of the 18 analysts following the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.