TheStreet.com Beats Consensus Forecast

TheStreet.com Inc. ( TSCM) posted a narrower-than-expected first-quarter loss, but revenue fell 19% from the year-ago period as lower advertising spending cut into the company's top line.

The company, a provider of financial news and commentary, reported a first-quarter loss of $6.5 million, or 23 cents a share, excluding a noncash compensation charge, goodwill amortization and one-time restructuring and severance charges. According to Thomson Financial/First Call, analysts expected the company to lose 29 cents. TheStreet.com, the publisher of this Web site, lost $13 million, or 51 cents a share, in the first quarter a year ago.

Revenue for the quarter ended March 31 fell to $4.4 million from $5.4 million in the same period a year ago. Subscription revenue totaled $2 million, flat with the year-ago period, while advertising revenue dropped 26% from last year to $1.9 million.

TheStreet.com's Web sites recorded 167 million total page views in the first quarter, an increase of 40% from 119 million in the same period a year ago, and a sequential increase of 4% from the fourth quarter. The company, which is based in New York, said an average of 3.6 million unique visitors a month came to its Web sites during the quarter, a sequential increase of 10% from the fourth quarter.

"The softening of the online advertising environment made this a difficult quarter," the company's chief executive, Thomas J. Clarke, said in a prepared statement. "However, even with the reduction in our advertising revenue, our bottom-line contributions improved significantly. Our cost reduction efforts are starting to produce the desired results while we wait for our revenue diversification efforts to take hold this year."

TheStreet.com ended the quarter with a cash position of more than $58 million and no debt.

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