Ask Jeeves revises results to reflect lost earnings

Internet search engine Ask Jeeves has announced it will report significantly reduced earnings in the quarter ending 31 December and is replacing its CEO.

Internet search engine Ask Jeeves has announced it will report significantly reduced earnings in the quarter ending 31 December and is replacing its CEO.

The revised net loss is expected to be about $18m for the quarter, equating to 50 cents a share. The company blames the "broad-based economic slowdown" in advertising and downward pressure on pricing. Shares closed down 7.7 per cent last night at $9.4, above last week's low of $8, far from the 52-week high of $140. Chief executive Rob Wrubel will step down after two and half years to become executive vice president of business development. A George Battle will act as interim CEO. Ask Jeeves also sells intuitive question answering technology and said the figures reflect "a decreased sense of urgency among Fortune 100 companies to implement their online initiatives". Ask Jeeves in the UK (Ask.co.uk) is a joint venture between Ask Jeeves International and Carlton Communications and Granada Media Group. By Geoffrey Davies