NetZero hurdled analysts' estimates in its fourth quarter Wednesday, posting a loss of $26 million, or 25 cents a share, on sales of $18.7 million.
First Call Corp. consensus expected it to lose 29 cents a share in the quarter.
NetZero (Nasdaq: NZRO) shares closed up 1/4 to 5 1/8 ahead of the earnings report.
The $18.7 million in sales marks a stellar 400 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it lost $7.4 million, or 65 cents a share, on sales of $3.7 million.
"NetZero has demonstrated another tremendous performance this quarter, approaching 5 million registered users and achieving gross margin profitability ahead of analysts' expectations in a challenging environment and seasonally slow quarter," said CEO Mark Goldston in a prepared release.
In the quarter, NetZero added more than 900,000 registered users, bringing its total registered user base to nearly 5 million, a 315 percent increase from the same period last year.
Last quarter, NetZero beat the consensus estimate but still lost $24.9 million, or 27 cents a share, on sales of $16.9 million.
Its shares raced up to an all-time high of 40 in January before tumbling to a low of 4 3/4 earlier this month.
All seven analysts tracking the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy."
Analysts expect it to lose $1.01 a share in fiscal 2001.
While there was no First Call Corp. consensus estimate, several analysts said they expected the Asian Internet company to lose between $16 million to $17 million in the quarter.
Company officials said its registered user base jumped to 6.3 million while daily page views improved 31 percent to 21 million in July.
Its shares closed off 11/16 to 16 1/4.