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NetZero gets past estimates in 3Q

    NetZero posted a smaller-than-expected loss in its third quarter Thursday, dropping $24.9 million, or 27 cents a share, on sales of $16.9 million.

    A survey of analysts by First Call Corp. predicted it would lose 30 cents a share in the quarter.

    NetZero (Nasdaq: NZRO) shares closed off 3/4 to 12 1/16 ahead of the earnings report.

    The $16.9 million in sales represents a stunning 2,059 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it lost $5.1 million, or 50 cents a share, on sales of $781,000.

    In the quarter, NetZero added more than 1 million registered users, bringing its total registered-user base to more than 4 million.

    Of those registered users, more than 1.8 million users accessed NetZero's service during the month of March.

    Total advertising impressions delivered in the quarter were 6.4 billion, or a daily average of 70 million impressions, up 27 percent increase from 55 million impressions in the second quarter.

    "March was another tremendous quarter for NetZero," said CEO Mark Goldston in a prepared release. "We passed the 4 million registered-user mark and, importantly, we continued to demonstrate our unique ability to turn user traffic into multiple revenue streams and deliver improved financial results."

    Last quarter, NetZero posted a loss of $1.8 million, or 22 cents a share, on sales of $12.2 million.

    Its shares peaked at 40 in February before falling to a low of 5 earlier this month.