StorageNetworks' 4Q loss smaller than expected

StorageNetworks posted a smaller-than-expected loss in its fourth quarter Wednesday, losing $36 million, or 36 cents a share, on sales of $21.2 million.

StorageNetworks posted a smaller-than-expected loss in its fourth quarter Wednesday, losing $36 million, or 36 cents a share, on sales of $21.2 million.

First Call Corp. consensus pegged the computer data services firm for a loss of 44 cents a share on sales of $19.2 million in the quarter.

StorageNetworks shares closed off $1 to $27.94 ahead of the earnings report before moving up to $30 in after-hours trading.

The $21.2 million in sales marks a 578 percent jump from the year-ago quarter when it lost $14 million, or 59 cents a share, on sales of $3.1 million.

“I am extremely pleased by our performance in 2000, which was marked by a number of significant accomplishments, continued growth and geographic expansion,” said CEO Peter Bell in a prepared release.

In the quarter, StorageNetworks added 47 new customers.

For the fiscal year, it lost $124.9 million, or $2.12 a share, on sales of $48.2 million compared to a loss of $23.9 million, or 98 cents a share, on sales of $6.3 million in fiscal 1999.

Last quarter, the company topped analysts’ estimates when it posted a loss of 37 cents a share on sales of $14.3 million.

StorageNetworks shares moved up to an all-time high of $154.25 in July before crashing to a low of $16.50 earlier this month.

Ten of the 12 analysts following the stock maintain either a “buy” or “strong buy” recommendation.