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Engage beats estimates

Loss not as bad as expected
Written by Larry Barrett, Contributor

On Tuesday, Engage Technologies posted a loss of $27.4m (£16.9m), or 52 cents a share, for its second quarter on sales of $12.8m (£7.9m). According to First Call's corrected estimate, the company beat predictions by six cents (3p) a share. The company also announced a 2-for-1 stock split.

First Call's consensus had originally expected the online marketing firm to lose 49 cents (30p) a share in the quarter. But according to Engage's Investor Relations, First Call had made a mistake.

Engage shares closed off 2 7/16 to 176 5/8 ahead of the earnings report.

The $12.8m in sales marks a 377 percent improvement from the same quarter a year ago, when it lost $5m (£3m), or 15 cents (9p) a share, on sales of $2.7m (£1.6m).

Engage shares moved up to a 52-week high of 186 earlier this month after falling to a low of 23 1/8 shortly after its July initial public offering (IPO). "Our customer base has expanded rapidly, particularly among online marketers and agencies, as companies recognise the substantial value and effectiveness of our profile-driven Internet marketing solutions," said chief executive Paul Schaut in a prepared release.

Last quarter, Engage beat Street estimates, losing $10.5m (£6.5m), or 22 cents (13p) a share, on sales of $8.3m (£5.1m).

First Call consensus predicts it will lose $1.94 (£1.20) a share in the fiscal year.

Company officials said the stock split will take place on 3 April for all shareholders of record on 20 March. All six analysts tracking the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.

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