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Lycos narrows losses, sets stock split

Reaching more than half of the Internet audience helped Lycos Inc. (Nasdaq: LCOS) post sequential revenue growth of 15 percent in the third quarter on its way to losing a penny less than analyst estimates.

The company also announced a 2-for-1 stock split, scheduled to take effect in late July.

In its first quarterly report since the collapse of a proposed merger with certain USA Networks Inc., Lycos posted a net loss of $1 million, or 2 cents a share. First Call's survey of 20 analysts predicted a loss of 3 cents a share for quarter ended April 30.

Third quarter revenue rose to $35.1 million, up 15 percent from the second quarter, when Lycos $1.5 million, or 3 cents a share. The web portal operator saw traffic of 31.9 million in the third quarter, reaching 51.8 percent of all Internet users. Average daily page views increased 20 percent to 60 million. And the registered membership on Lycos properties rose to 27 million, a 29 percent sequential gain.

"Once again, the Lycos Network has shown great improvement in all meaningful growth areas, reaffirming the power of our core business model," said Edward M. Philip, chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Lycos. "We continue to concentrate on the main components of the Lycos Network - commerce, community and navigation - and during the quarter we announced several new products and alliances that we believe solidify our leadership position in those key areas."

Tuesday's quarterly report came with little suspense, since Lycos repeatedly said it was comfortable with analyst estimates. Shares of Lycos were 115 1/2 in after-hours trading, up from a close of 112 15/16.

Of 19 analysts polled by Zack's Investment Research, seven rate Lycos a "strong buy", seven recommend it as a "moderate buy" and five maintain the equivalent of "hold" ratings.