Jupiter Feels the Dot-Com Losses

Despite a 22 percent drop in the total value of its subscriber contracts within a year, Internet research firm Jupiter Media Metrix, Inc. made progress holding down the extent of its losses during the second quarter ending in June.

The Alley company said its net loss before one-time and other charges was $10.1 million (28 cents per share) on revenues of $25.2 million.

Wall Street analysts polled by First Call/Thomson Financial were expecting a loss of 32 cents per share and revenues just over $24 million.

The results were much deeper than the year-ago quarter’s net loss (excluding charges) of $2 million, (10 cents per share), on revenues of $12.6 million.

However, there was no hiding the bottom-line effect of the dot-com meltdown that wiped out big chunks of Jupiter’s revenues. The New York-based company’s net loss was $48.2 million ($1.36 per share), compared to a net loss of $7.6 million (39 cents per share) during last year’s second quarter.

Revenue from events dropped like a lead balloon: from $10.7 million during the second quarter of 2000 to $1 million by the end of June, a difference of 90 percent. The company said the decline also resulted from the cancellation of previously scheduled events as well as softer attendance and sponsorships.

The contract value of annual subscriptions, also impacted by the decline of the dot-coms, were $86.3 million for the quarter, compared to total subscription contract value of $105.3 million a year ago at the same time.

And, as has been the theme with many companies throughout the earnings season this year, amortization charges chewed into the bottom line. After closing its merger with Web measurement firm Media Metrix during the past year, Jupiter’s amortization charges for the quarter were $27.4 million, compared to $5.6 million for the same time a year ago.

The company also had to account for a one-time cash outlay of $6.9 million for restructuring charges as it coped with the results of the decline in tech and new economy spending. In addition, Jupiter said it obtained a commitment for a one-year irrevocable $25 million letter of credit to be issued by JPMorgan Chase and backed by Tod Johnson, the company’s chairman.

The letter of credit is to be used for any standby lines of credit the company may be able to secure.

Said Johnson of the LOC: “I truly believe in this company and its prospects, and I am pleased to help ensure that we have the financial resources to protect our core assets and build a successful, long-term business.”

In a particularly challenging and evolving market, Jupiter also made progress in syndicated services during the quarter, Johnson added. Jupiter also renewed contracts and research agreements with a number of major companies, including A&E Television, Ford Motor, GlaxoSmithKline, Microsoft and eBay.

Shares of Jupiter closed down just under 2 percent at $1.05 on the Nasdaq Monday.

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