TheStreet Posts Slight Loss, Revenue of $14.7M

TheStreet, publisher of this Web site, sees its ad and premium services business grow.
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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- TheStreet (TSCM) , the financial media group that publishes this Web site, reported a slight loss in its second quarter but said net revenue from ongoing businesses rose 5% from a year ago.

For the period ended June 30, TheStreet posted a net loss of $339,798, or a penny a share. A year earlier, the company earned $340,022, or a penny a share. Revenue came in at $14.7 million vs. $14 million, excluding results from Promotions.com, an unprofitable marketing business that TheStreet sold in December. Including Promotions, year-earlier revenue was $15 million.

The company reported adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) for the quarter of $931,035, as compared with $1.9 million in the prior-year quarter ($2.6 million in the prior-year quarter, excluding the impact of Promotions.com). The lower EBITDA reflects investment in new staff, technology, product development and marketing to position the company for future growth, CEO Daryl Otte said on the earnings conference call.

Adjusted EBITDA in the prior-year period reflected an additional $0.4 million of revenue received as a result of the global research legal settlement that wound down in July 2009 (the year-over-year impact of which will be smaller in the third quarter and disappear thereafter).

In the company's press release announcing the results, Otte pointed to year-over-year advertising revenue of $4.84 million compared with $4.57 million a year ago, excluding Promotions.com. Premium services revenue came in at $9.825 million vs. $9.428 million a year ago.

"We were pleased to see ad growth in a quarter in which the financial markets experienced a significant decline and many investors appear to have stepped back," Otte said in the written statement. "This growth affirms the value of our vertical publishing model centered on professionally created and curated content, to create a 'must read' site for our passionate user base and a 'must buy' for our core group of premier advertisers seeking to reach that engaged and prized audience."

Premium bookings at the company rose by 1% from the year-ago period, "a slower rate of growth than we experienced in the last few quarters," Otte said. He cited the so-called "Flash Crash" of May 6 -- which evidently caused some retail investors to abandon the equities markets -- for the relative weakness. But Otte also said that the company's churn rate remained flat when compared with the first quarter. Churn rate refers to the percentage of a Web site's paying audience that cancels subscriptions over a certain period. In the first quarter, that percentage fell to 3.8%, down from 5% in the corresponding period of 2009.

The company finished the quarter with cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash and marketable securities of $82.6 million, an increase of $1 million compared with March 31, 2010. The increase is primarily due to the company's $0.4 million of operating cash flow and receipt of $2.1 million in cash related to the sale of certain non-core assets, offset in part by $0.5 million on capital expenditures and $0.9 million in dividends.

Earlier today,

TheStreet named Thomas Etergino as chief financial officer

.

-- Written by Scott Eden in New York

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.