CSFBdirect's Loss Doubles

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CSFBdirect Inc. announced yesterday that its second-quarter loss practically doubled as the online brokerage suffered from a drop in customer stock trading.

CSFBdirect reported a loss of $12.6 million, or 12 cents per share, during the quarter, excluding one-time items. Its net loss during the same period last year amounted to $6.6 million, or 6 cents per share. Revenue plummeted 28 percent to $60.2 million, from $84 million a year ago.

According to research firm Thomson Financial/First Call, analysts anticipated a loss of 8 cents to 12 cents per share, with a consensus expectation of 10 cents. The company cut 24 percent of its staff thus far this year.

The firm announced that it processed an average of 29,400 trades per day during the second quarter compared with 35,900 a year ago. According to estimates by J.P. Morgan analyst Greg Smith, online share trading volumes industrywide dropped at least 10 percent during the quarter.

CSFBdirect, Jersey City, NJ, has not produced a profit since the first quarter of last year.

It is being taken private by its investment banking parent, Credit Suisse First Boston, which expects to record second-quarter operating profits that are significantly lower than last year's as well as lower than the first quarter.

CSFB improved a previous $73.6 million offer to take CSFBdirect private earlier this month to $110 million, or $6 per share, well below CSFBdirect's IPO share price of $20 two years ago.

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