Steep revenue growth and increased traffic volumes were not enough to keep Lycos in the black for its second quarter results.
For the period ending 31 January 1999, the Internet portal company reported a $9.3 million loss, or $0.22 per share, inclusive of five merger and acquisition charges and associated costs. The company made a slim profit of $301,000 for the same period a year ago.
Excluding charges, the loss was $1.48 million, or $0.03 per share, narrowly beating Wall Street estimates of a loss of $0.04 a share. Revenues were $30.6 million, an increase of 24 per cent over the previous quarter, and by 142 per cent on 1998's results for the same period.
Traffic to the Lycos Network grew by 39 per cent to 50 million page views per day, representing a reach of 48.8 per cent of all Web users in January, according to the Internet research company, Media Metrix.
USA Networks announced two weeks ago that it intends to buy Lycos. It wants to merge the portal company with Ticketmaster-Citysearch Online, Home Shopping Network and First Auction - all USA Network subsidiaries. The new company, USA/Lycos Interactive Networks, was valued by analysts at around $16 billion (see Newswire 9 February).
The deal is in jeopardy as Lycos? major shareholder CMGI, is being coy. CMGI said that while it "is generally supportive of the Lycos/USA Networks transaction," it "reserves the right to reassess its position as developments unfold" (see Newswire 12 February).
If the deal goes ahead USA Networks and Lycos will create a new breed of Internet company that crosses the online and offline worlds with the potential to reach nearly 50 per cent of Web users and 70 per cent of cable TV households.
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