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Covad reports quarter in the red

The company tops analysts' estimates in its first quarter but still posts a net loss of $198.5 million, or $1.15 a share, on sales of $71.2 million.

    Covad Communications topped analysts' estimates in its first quarter Wednesday but still posted a net loss of $198.5 million, or $1.15 a share, on sales of $71.2 million.

    First Call consensus pegged the DSL wholesaler for a loss of $1.35 a share in the quarter.

    Covad shares closed down 2 cents to 70 cents.

    In the year-ago quarter, Covad posted a loss of $136.3 million, or 93 cents a share, on sales of $20.8 million.

    While Covad did top the consensus estimate this quarter, Chairman Chuck McMinn said "the uncertainties that still remain within our distribution channels and our business in general" suggest the first-quarter results "are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected in future quarters and the full year 2001."

    Total subscriber lines jumped to 319,000 in the quarter compared with 93,000 lines in the year-ago quarter.

    As of the end of the first quarter, Covad had an accumulated deficit of $1.9 billion and longterm debt of $1.4 billion. It burned through $240 million in cash in the quarter, leaving it with $636.8 million in cash and short-term investments at quarter's end.

    Last quarter, it lost $259.7 million, or $1.55 a share, on sales of $55.2 million.