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TheStreet Posts 2009 Loss (Update2)

TheStreet.com, the publisher of this Web site, the financial media company that publishes this Web site, reported losses for the fourth quarter and 2009 after a year of housecleaning that included the sale of its unprofitable Promotions.com marketing unit.
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Adds detail on TheStreet's sale of Promotions.com.

TheStreet.com

(TSCM)

, the financial media company that publishes this Web site, reported losses for the fourth quarter and 2009 after a year of housecleaning that included the sale of its unprofitable Promotions.com marketing unit.

For the quarter, the company narrowed its adjusted loss to $767,865 compared to a loss of $1.7 million in the fourth quarter of the prior year. The full-year adjusted loss amounted to $45.5 million compared with a profit of $2.4 million in 2008. The adjusted figures exclude the impact of Promotions.com.

The net loss decreased to $870,831 attributable to common shareholders, or 3 cents a share, in the fourth quarter compared with a loss of $1.5 million, or 5 cents a share, the year before. The company posted a full-year net loss of $47.8 million attributable to common shareholders, or $1.56 a share, vs. a profit of $158,092, or 1 cent per share, in 2008.

CEO Daryl Otte said in a press release that the company has addressed challenges posed by the economic crisis of the past year by aggressively reducing costs and shedding Promotions.com, "an unprofitable, non-core subsidiary."

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"We believe we are very well positioned for success in the coming year, having a strong balance sheet and businesses exhibiting the best performance in many quarters and generating ample free cash flow," Otte said.

Otte said aggregate bookings for subscription services and its RateWatch business grew for the fifth consecutive quarter, with double-digit percentage increases over the prior year periods in the last two quarters. Advertising revenue, excluding Promotions.com, also posted the first year-over-year increase in six quarters, he said.

In December, TheStreet sold Promotions.com, an interactive marketing agency it bought in 2007, to a company owned by the unit's founders for $3.1 million. The deal included $1 million in cash and $2.1 million in notes payable in six monthly installments beginning April 1.

Excluding Promotions.com, revenue increased slightly to $15.3 million in the fourth quarter, vs. $15.2 million in the same period of 2008. For the full year, revenue fell to $55.6 million last year from $64.3 million in 2008, excluding Promotions.com.

Total net revenue in the quarter slipped to $16.5 million last year, vs. $17.4 million in the last three months of 2008. For the full year, revenue fell to $60.2 million, compared to $70.8 million in 2008.

In January,

TheStreet released delayed earnings reports showing a $1.4 million loss in the third quarter of 2009 and a $300,000 profit in the second quarter and restated financial reports for all of 2008 following an accounting review related to Promotions.com. The restatements correct errors related to the timing of reported revenue in the former unit, TheStreet said.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.