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Salon.com misses lowered 4Q expectations

    Salon.com (Nasdaq: SALN) missed the analyst estimate in the fourth quarter.

    After market close Wednesday, the Internet media company reported a fiscal fourth quarter net loss of $5.2 million, or 41 cents per share, not counting non-cash charges. The lone analyst surveyed by First Call predicted a loss of 39 cents per share for the quarter ended March 31.

    The per share loss was near the high end of the range expected by Salon.com in a warning last month.

    Including all items, Salon.com lost $6.2 million, or 50 cents per share.

    Fourth quarter revenue increased to $2.6 million, near the low end of guidance contained in the April pre-announcement. Traffic rose to 3.7 million users in March, up 9 percent from 3.4 million in December and up 208 percent from 1.2 million a year earlier. Ad impressions rose to 483 million from 99 million in the comparable period a year ago and 380 million in the previous quarter.

    For the full fiscal 2000, Salon.com lost $18.3 million, or $1.66 per share, excluding non-cash expenses. Revenue for the year rose to $8 million from $2.9 million in fiscal 1999.

    Shares of Salon.com fell 1/8 to 2 1/2 in Wednesday's regular trading, prior to the quarterly report.>