Online financial news provider

TheStreet.com

(TSCM)

narrowed its fourth-quarter loss on reduced expenses and a 55% jump in revenue. The company, which publishes this Web site, said it had $814,764 in cash burn during the quarter, down from $6.1 million a year earlier.

The company lost $1.2 million, or 5 cents a share, on $6 million in revenue in the quarter, compared with a loss of $6.2 million, or 26 cents a share, on $3.8 million in revenue last year. The third-quarter loss was $1.8 million, or 8 cents a share.

The company ended the quarter with $29 million in cash, restricted cash and equivalents. The burn rate rose 24% from the third quarter, reflecting the funding of the company's new independent research group, which was set up to sell stock analysis.

The company derives revenue from advertising and subscriptions to various Web sites and newsletters. It said subscription revenue for the fourth quarter rose 64% to $4.3 million, while advertising revenue rose 30% to $1.4 million. Subscription bookings for the fourth quarter were $4.2 million, up 90% from a year ago.

"Fourth-quarter 2002 advertising sales were the strongest since the first quarter of 2001, resulting from a slight upturn in the advertising market, strong renewals, efficient and positive advertiser performance and an aggressive advertising sales strategy," the company said in a release. "Our strong subscriber, visitor and database demographics continue to allow us to provide competitive advertising buys for companies and ad agencies in the financial, technology, luxury goods and other relevant categories."

On the cost side, operating expenses totaled $5.4 million in the latest quarter, down 40% from a year ago, while the gross margin was 69%, up from 56% in the year-ago quarter.

Sequentially, fourth-quarter revenue rose 12% and the loss narrowed 37% from the third quarter.