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TheStreet.com Narrows Losses on Lower Revenues

By @NY

Online financial information news provider TheStreet.com narrowed its losses during the final quarter of 2001 to $6.2 million, or 26 cents per share, about one quarter of the loss from the same time a year ago.

The net loss from the fourth quarter 2000 was $24.6 million, or 90 cents per share.

The results capped a year in which the business news and analysis site shuffled management and forged new subscription revenues as it weathered not only the aftermath of Sept. 11, but one of the toughest years for taking in advertising revenues.

The company is headquartered near the World Trade Center disaster.

Net revenue for the fourth quarter was $3.8 million, compared to $6.3 million in sales during the same time a year ago. Revenues for the year were $15.3 million, down 34 percent from the $23.3 million it took in during 2000.

Overall subscription revenues for the quarter were $2.6 million, up 12 percent from the third quarter and up 27 percent from the same, year-ago period.

Advertising revenue for the quarter was $1 million, up about 15 percent from the third quarter.

With ten new investment information products launched this year, the company said average annual revenue per subscriber had reached more than $500.

The results also included the cost of extracting itself from its prior relationship with News Corp., which owns the Fox News network, and an advertising spending commitment left over from the go-go days of 1999.

"This commitment, originally agreed to in May 1999 in connection with News Corporation's investment in the Company's initial public offering, required TheStreet.com to spend a total of $3.2 million advertising with News Corporation-owned media properties over a four-year period."

Thomas J. Clarke, TheStreet.com's chief executive, said the company was pleased to be out of the deal. In addition, the company said it reduced lease costs during the quarter as it scaled back on other offices.

Shares of TheStreet.com were trading down about 5 percent to $1.80 during Thursday's early going on the Nasdaq.