RealTime IT News

Engage: We'll Meet or Beat Guidance

Beleaguered ad network Engage said that it likely would exceed the revenue guidance that it issued last month for the current quarter, and would likely "meet or exceed" its earnings expectations.

That's especially welcome news considering the fact that during that announcement the Andover, Mass.-based firm warned that it would post a wider-than-expected loss for the quarter. But now, Engage, which operates on an August-July fiscal calendar, said that it's on track to beat its own fiscal second quarter revenue expectations of $25 million.

The company did not specify what, exactly, it expects revenues to be.

Engage also reaffirmed previous guidance that it wouldn't post a before-charges loss larger than $0.28 per share, or about $55 million -- and that it might even beat those estimates.

"Engage will exceed previous revenue guidance and will meet or exceed our earnings guidance for the second quarter," said Engage president and chief executive Tony Nuzzo.

Prior to the January warning, analysts had previously predicted a loss of $0.19 per share. Currently, First Call/Thompson Financial consensus pegs Engage's pre-charges loss at about $0.26 per share.

Nuzzo said the positive news is due to Engage's announced streamlining of operations, which is designed to increase operational efficiencies, improve margins and reduce expenses. During the restructuring, Engage axed about half of its 1100-person staff.

"The management team at Engage is creating a strong operational foundation for the company and I am particularly pleased with the progress that has been made," said David Wetherell, chairman of the board at Engage and CEO and chairman of Engage's parent, CMGI. "We are committed to making Engage a leader in the enterprise marketing software and interactive media markets."

During January's warning, chief financial officer Robert Bartlett said he was taking estimates for Engage's profitability date "off the table," but repeated that the company expects its current cash would be "sufficient" to get it to profitability. At the end of last quarter, the company had about $80 million in cash and marketable securities.

Whether Engage will live up to Nuzzo's boast will be made clear when it releases its quarterly results on March 12. And Engage certainly could stand to make good on the promise: currently, shares of ENGA are trading down 14.29 percent, at $1.5 -- and well off its 52-week high of $94.5.