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PSINet tops estimates in 1Q

PSINet Inc. (Nasdaq: PSIX), reported a first-quarter loss of $1.06 a share Tuesday, much narrower First Call Corp. estimates of a $1.28 a share loss. The company continued to acquire companies, and honed its Web-hosting business.

Shares closed at 24 5/16 Monday, down sharply from their 52-week high of 60 15/16.

PSINet recently snapped up Metamor Worldwide (Nasdaq: MMWW), a business software and services company.

First quarter revenue was $222.9 million, up 113 percent from a year ago, and up 20 percent from the fourth quarter.

Net loss for the first quarter, excluding charges and $32.5 million in gains from the sale of investments, was $159.7 million, or $1.06 basic and diluted cents a share. The results compared to a loss of $134.8 million, or 99 basic and diluted cents per share, in the fourth quarter.

Net loss available to common shareholders for the quarter was $204.2 million, or $1.35 basic and diluted loss per share. That's a 9 percent improvement from $223.5 million, or $1.63 basic and diluted loss per share, reported in the fourth quarter of 1999.

EBITDA for the quarter was negative $15.5 million, an improvement from negative $16.9 million reported in the fourth quarter.

PSINet recorded a restructuring charge of $16.9 million, or 11 cents a share, and $59 million, or 39 cents a share, for asset write-offs. The cash impact of these charges and write-offs is about $16.9 million.

During the past two years PSINet has been buying fiber-based bandwidth and related equipment to enhance its network infrastructure and lower its costs.

The company expects to see benefits from the upgrades and branding campaign. PSINet also plans to eliminate network redundancies and streamline operations and product offerings.

PSINet expects $19.5 million in annual cash savings beginning in April.

As previously announced, the company also began to consolidate its worldwide consumer operations into a new retail unit named Inter.net Ltd. PSINet incurred a cost of about $1.1 million, or 1 cent a share, due to these efforts.

PSINet Ventures, a PSINet subsidiary, completed more than 50 investments in Internet and telecommunications start-up companies during the quarter. PSINet realized gains in excess of $30 million from the sale of some of its investments.

PSINet said it has about $2 billion in cash on hand, and sees annualized revenue per customer increasing as it shifts customer mix toward Web hosting.

PSINet's competitors include Concentric Network (Nasdaq: CNCX), GTE (NYSE: GTE) and Worldcom (Nasdaq: WCOM), according to Hoover's Online.