LookSmart Trims Losses

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Pay-per-click lead-generation search engine LookSmart yesterday reported a net loss of $59.6 million or 65 cents per share for the full year 2001. This is a slight improvement over 2000 for which LookSmart reported a net loss of $62.6 million or 70 cents per share.

LookSmart also reported net loss of just over $11 million or 12 cents per share for the fourth quarter of 2001, compared to a net loss of $23 million or 25 cents per share for the same quarter a year ago.

The San Francisco company reported that fourth quarter 2001 revenue was $19.5 million, up 7 percent from $18.3 million in the third quarter. LookSmart reported that revenue for the full year 2001, however, was $85 million, down from $112.6 million in 2000.

LookSmart also reported that paid clicks increased 23 percent quarter to quarter. Total paid clicks for the quarter reached 63 million versus 51 million in the third quarter 2001, according to LookSmart.

LookSmart executives claimed in a statement that the firm beat analysts' expectations.

"We are very pleased to report better than expected revenues and EBITDA [earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization] profitability for the quarter," said Dianne Dubois, chief financial officer for LookSmart in a press release. "With the continued solid growth in listings revenue and increase in paid clicks, LookSmart achieved its first ever profitable quarter on an EBITDA and cash operating basis. We finished the year in a strong cash position with an improved balance sheet and are confident about the growth potential that lies ahead."

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