RealTime IT News

EarthWeb Inc. Changes Name, Reports Earnings

Demonstrating its dedication as a pure technology career services play, New York-based EarthWeb Inc. Tuesday said it intends to change its name to Dice Inc., pending shareholder approval.

Once known as an operator of more than a dozen Web sites and newsletters, EarthWeb sold most of its properties, including Developer.com, Datamation, CrossNodes, EarthWeb Direct and SysOpt.com to InternetNews parent internet.com Corp. late last year. internet.com also acquired the EarthWeb.com Web portal as a part of the deal.

With more dot-coms continuing to focus on different ways to offer saleable items during a tempestuous U.S. economy a name change is usually par for the course. This morning internet.com also announced it would change its name to INTMEDIAGROUP effective May 24, 2001.

In a company email, Alan Meckler, chairman and chief executive officer of internet.com, said "[The name change] is being done to demonstrate to the financial markets and to our customers that internet.com is a diverse trade publishing and media company."

As part of this process, EarthWeb will change its NASDAQ ticker symbol from EWBX to DICE upon formal adoption of the new name, which is expected to be voted on June 13, 2001.

EarthWeb currently generates more than 90 percent of its revenue from dice.com, which -- in an unusual Internet twist of events -- has been a profitable online job board for IT professionals for more than 10 years.

In a prepared statement, Peter Derow, outgoing president and CEO of Dice.com, said "We intend to rename our company Dice Inc., reflecting the well-established name of our 10-year old dice.com business in the information technology market and the extraordinary brand equity it enjoys."

EarthWeb said first quarter results ending March 31, 2001 were $17.1 million, an increase of 117 percent compared to the $7.9 million recorded on a pro forma basis in the year ago quarter, and an increase of 5 percent compared to pro forma revenues in the fourth quarter of 2000.

EarthWeb Inc. recorded cash net income totaling $369,000, or $0.04 per share, in the current quarter excluding a net one-time charge of $270,000. In the first and fourth quarters of 2000, the company reported a cash net loss on an actual basis of $6.7 million, or 67 cents per share, and of $1.8 million, or 17 cents per share, respectively. The company posted losses of $3.6 million for the quarter, a sizeable decrease from the loss of $11.6 million in same period last year.

Michael Durney, senior vice president and CFO of EarthWeb, said "We achieved cash net income profitability this quarter, ahead of expectations, reflecting continued high gross margins and a prudent rate of investment to build our sales and marketing programs."

Durney said the company's cash position remains strong with $36.7 million on hand at the end of the first quarter. The CFO said the company's operating cash flow "places us in a strong position to invest in and grow our business through this uncertain economic environment."

On April 12, 2001, InternetNews.com sister site atNewYork.com reported that Peter Derow was replaced as EarthWeb's CEO, less than three months after he landed the job. Former Vcommerce Corp. president Scot Melland has been tapped as Derow's replacement.

Derow was appointed to the CEO slot on January 29 to succeed co-founder Jack Hidary. The former CEO has moved upstairs as vice chairman of EarthWeb's board of directors.

In early morning going, shares of EarthWeb were trading at $3.07, up 64 cents from yesterday's close at $2.43.