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Liberty Digital 4Q losses increase

    Liberty Digital (Nasdaq: LDIG) reported higher losses in the fourth quarter even as revenue rose 6 percent year-over-year.

    On Tuesday, the media company's continuing operations reported a fourth quarter net loss of $1.63 per share, compared to a loss of a penny per share in the same period a year ago. Revenue increased to $15.8 million from $14.9 million in the fourth quarter of 1998.

    Operating income excluding amortization and special charges fell to $3.7 million from $5.5 million a year earlier. Income decreased, the company said, because of higher expenses in the Audio segment and spending on the Interactive Media division, which is still in the developmental stage.

    Losses increased because of higher stock compensation costs, Liberty said. The company's stock price rose 218 percent between September and December. Shares fell 48 percent between December and March, which means the company will reverse much of the accrued compensation expense in its first quarter report.

    For the year, Liberty Digital lost $2.38 per share on revenue of $65.2 million.

    Also Tuesday, Cendant's (NYSE: CD) real estate and home services Web site, Move.com, got a boost on Tuesday when Liberty Digital bought about 1.5 million of its shares.

    The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. After the purchase, Cendant holds an 87 percent stake in Move.com.

    The companies also said they plan to work together to develop real estate-related programming for Liberty Digital's interactive television initiatives based on the content on Move.com's site.

    In March, shareholders approved Cendant's shareholders approved its proposal to create a tracking stock for Move.com. The company has filed a registration statement for the Move.com offering with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 14, but it has yet to become effective.>