Quokka Sports to miss 4Q targets

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Quokka Sports warned Monday that its fourth-quarter loss will be wider than expected while sales in the quarter will fall well short of analysts’ estimates.

Quokka Sports (Nasdaq: QKKA), which produces Web sites for so-called extreme sporting events such as The Whitbread Yacht Race, said it now expects sales between $8.5 million to $9 million in the quarter, below the $11.9 million most analysts’ had predicted.

Company officials said the fourth-quarter loss will fall somewhere between $19.5 million to $21.5 million, excluding one-time charges, rather than the $14 million to $15 million it had previously anticipated.

Its shares finished up 3 cents to 63 cents a share ahead of the warning.

Company officials blamed delays in the timing of sponsorships and other agreements for upcoming events including the NCAA Final Four basketball tournament and the beginning of the Major League Baseball season.

“Looking ahead, our exciting business opportunities give us confidence in an uncertain marketplace,” said CEO Alvaro Saralegui in a prepared release. “We are developing new sponsorship products and continuing to improve operating efficiencies as we focus our efforts on achieving profitability and position ourselves competitively in the sporting events we plan to cover in 2001.”

Quokka will report its fourth-quarter results Jan. 25.

Last quarter, it posted a loss of 19.8 million, or 43 cents a share, on sales of $16 million.

The stock peaked at $18 last January before falling to a low of 47 cents a share in December.

Four of the seven analysts following the stock rate it either a “buy” or “strong buy.”