Exclusive Apple ISP provider
reported Tuesday a fourth-quarter loss of US$52.2 million, excluding one-time charges, as the number of newer subscribers fell short of expectations.
Excluding acquisition costs, the company would have lost $52.2 million, or 40 cents a share. EarthLink was expected to lose 51 cents a share, according to analyst estimates surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial. EarthLink said in October it expected to lose 48 cents to 53 cents, excluding those costs.
The loss widened to $105.5 million, or 87 cents a share, from $60.7 million, or 55 cents, a year ago. Sales rose 44 percent to $286.8 million from $199.1 million — below the $290 million to $295 million EarthLink forecasted in October.
EarthLink ended the quarter with 4.7 million customers, adding 76,000 broadband customers for a total installed broadband subscriber base of 215,000 — up 760 percent from a year ago and up 55 percent from the third quarter.
Based on current trends and operating plans now in place for the year, EarthLink expects to end 2001 with over 5 million paying customers. Most of that growth will come from the broadband product line. EarthLink will capitalize on strong market demand, its national footprint, and its ability to deploy DSL, cable, fixed wireless and satellite broadband solutions to grow its broadband base to over 500,000 subscribers by year-end. EarthLink anticipates that it will begin providing its broadband Internet services over AOL Time Warner’s cable systems in the second half of 2001.
Earthlink expects its number of narrowband subscribers to be relatively flat year over year. Revenues for the year are expected to be between $1.2 and $1.3 billion.