Wednesday’s Earnings A Mixed Bag

The consensus of most Internet sector companies reporting earnings this week is that the September 11 attacks impacted everyone’s bottom line.

Case in point is online travel site , said its third-quarter profit before special items rose slightly over last year, but revenues fell short of previous targets in the wake of the ongoing travel crisis.

The company says it was forced to lay off 10 percent of its staff as travelers seem nervous about getting back on planes.

“The projected revenue run rate for the third quarter prior to Sept. 11 would have exceeded the company’s prior guidance of $85 million,” says Travelocity president and CEO Terrell Jones.

Still, the Fort Worth, Texas-based company met analysts expectations by posting a third-quarter profit of $4.9 million or 9 cents per diluted share, versus $4.5 million or 8 cents a year earlier.

San Francisco-based Web design software maker Macromedia , which says terrorism took a chunk out of its sales, says its second quarter revenues were $87.1 million as compared with revenues of $98.0 million reported in the same quarter a year ago.

The company reported a pro forma net loss of $3.3 million, or a loss of $0.06 per share, for the second quarter fiscal 2002, as compared with pro forma net income of $19.4 million, or $0.34 diluted earnings per share for the second quarter fiscal year 2001.

Macromedia, which is best known for its Director, Flash and Shockwave software says it expects to make more cuts to return to profitability, but sales should still remain flat through the end of the year.

“I am proud of all of our employees who continue to dig in and do great work through this tough economic cycle,” says Macromedia chairman and CEO Rob Burgess. “As the Web continues to evolve and grow, Macromedia is well positioned to take it to the next level.”

Apple Computer fared better beating Wall Street expectations by 3 cents a share even though the Cupertino, Calif.-based computer maker posted an adjusted net profit of $66 million, or 19 cents a share, compared with fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of $170 million, or 47 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

“We accomplished a lot in FY 2001, even though it was a challenging year for us and our industry,” says Apple CEO Steve Jobs. “We gained market share in education, and iBook sales to education tripled last quarter; we launched Mac OS X, and released the stunningly fast 10.1 update in September; we opened our first Apple retail stores, and are on track to open 25 stores across the U.S. by the end of 2001.”

But the addition of stores may be a bane to Apple. CFO Fred Anderson said the company is expected to report a small loss instead of breaking even at its retail stores at the end of the year.

On the bottom of the earnings ladder is Commerce One , which reported a third quarter net loss of $119 million, or 45 cents a share compared with a loss of $61 million or 37 cents a share in the prior year. The company says its revenues fell to $81 million from $113 million in the year-ago period.

The news comes two days after the Pleasanton, Calif.-based company says it can’t keep 1,300 people on its payroll and stay profitable. About 700 people will be let go while the remaining 600 will be dismissed as the different divisions are closed.

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