VerticalNet tops 3Q forecasts

VerticalNet (Nasdaq: VERT) lost less than analysts expected in its first quarter under its current CEO.

After market close Tuesday, the operator of niche business-to-business marketplaces reported a third quarter loss of $17.7 million, or 20 cents per share, excluding special charges and amortization. First Call's survey of 27 analysts predicted a loss of 29 cents per share.

Shares of VerticalNet traded at 31.75 in afterhours activity on the Island electronic communications network, following the release of quarterly results. VerticalNet stock closed Tuesday's regular trading at 32.625, up 2.375 for the session.

Including $56.8 million in amortization costs and $1.5 million in preferred stock dividends, VerticalNet lost $76 million, or 88 cents per share.

Tuesday's announcement marks VerticalNet's first quarter with former Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) executive Joseph Galli as CEO. "Joe has had a tremendous first quarter and a smooth transition," Chairman Mark Walsh said in a statement. "He has produced an immediate impact across the organization."

Third quarter revenue rose to $73.7 million, up 38 percent from $53.6 million in the second quarter. E-enablement and e-commerce revenue generated $17.5 million, while advertising and service sales were $17 million. VerticalNet's NECX.com exchange saw revenue of $39.3 million, up 35 percent sequentially.

Deferred revenue increased to $57.2 million from $46.4 million at the end of June.

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