Tech Industry

Six tech companies post earnings

Amazon.com, MindSpring, Cadence, and Informix beat expectations. CNET reports its first quarterly operating profit, and N2K falls short.

Amazon.com today posted a wider second-quarter loss than a year ago, but the online bookseller's latest quarterly results still beat Wall Street's expectations.

Database software maker Informix, MindSpring Enterprises, and Cadence Design Systems also beat the Street in their earnings reports today. CNET posted its first quarterly operating profit for its second quarter and sold a stake in Vignette for a one-time gain, and N2K fell short of Wall Street's predictions. (CNET is the publisher of NEWS.COM.)

Amazon.com reported a pro-forma net loss of $15.8 million or 33 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $6.7 million or 16 cents a share posted for the like quarter a year ago. According to First Call, Amazon.com was expected to lose 43 cents per share. The company's quarterly revenue rose to $116 million from $27.9 million a year ago.

Amazon.com also said that cumulative customer accounts increased by 880,000 during the quarter, to more than 3.1 million as of June 30. Repeat-order customers represented more than 63 percent of all orders placed during the quarter. In June, Amazon.com expanded its product line to include music.

Among the highlights of today's reports:

• Informix posted net income of $12.3 million or 7 cents a share for its second quarter, compared with a loss of $111.4 million or 73 cents a share a year ago. Quarterly revenue fell to $174.2 million from $182.5 million a year ago. According to First Call, Informix was expected to post a profit of 3 cents per share.

• Internet service provider MindSpring reported second-quarter net income of $2 million, or 24 cents a share, compared with a loss of $1.4 million, or 19 cents a share, posted a year ago. Wall Street expected the company to post profits of 18 cents a share, according to First Call.

• MindSpring posted quarterly revenue of $25.1 million, up from $11.6 reported for the like quarter a year ago. The ISP said is had about 393,000 customers as of June 30, up from 183,000 tallied in the second quarter of last year.

• Cadence Design Systems, a product development software maker, posted net income of $66.4 million, or 28 cents a share, for the second quarter ended July 4, besting Wall Street's predictions by one penny, according to First Call. The company reported net income of $28.4 million, or 13 cents a share, for the like period a year ago. Quarterly revenue of $291.8 million was up nearly 39 percent over revenues of $210.5 million reported a year ago.

• Online music site N2K posted a net loss $16.4 million or $1.18 a share for its latest quarter, compared with a net loss of $5.6 million or $1.90 a share reported for the like quarter a year ago. According to First Call, analysts had expected N2K to lose $1.12 per share. The company's quarterly revenue rose to $10 million from $1.8 million posted for the like quarter a year ago.

• CNET posted net income of $254,000 or 2 cents a share for the second quarter ended June 30, compared with net income of $5 million or 34 cents a share reported for the like period a year ago. Income from operations for the quarter equaled $138,000, on a comparable basis to an operating loss of $1.9 million a year ago, CNET said.

"The 1998 second-quarter results represent CNET's first quarter of generating operating income," the company said in a statement. CNET's revenues totaled $13.1 million for the second quarter, compared with $8.3 million reported a year earlier.

During its second quarter, CNET sold about 20 percent of its stake in software company Vignette, and it recognized a $4.5 million gain from the transaction. (Snap's financial results are accounted for on the equity method starting April 1 as a result of CNET contributing the assets of Snap into a joint venture with NBC. Snap generated a $5 million loss in the second quarter.)