iVillage's (IVIL) spin on its second-quarter financial results has left investors so dizzy they're having a tough time making sense of the numbers.
After the close Thursday, the company said it posted a second-quarter net loss from continuing operations of 94 cents a share. Because the
First Call/Thomson Financial
consensus estimate was a loss of 88 cents a share, everyone assumed the company had badly missed the mark. And most major news organizations, including
in its markets coverage Thursday evening, reported just that. (
wrote about the results earlier Friday.)
Then came Friday morning and the ensuing analysts' reports. But they only added to the confusion.
"The losses as reported this morning in the papers included an $8.1 million write-off of some new media assets and some exposure to a large dot-com client," says Carolyn Trabuco, an analyst for
First Union Securities
who rates the stock a strong buy. "If you back off the write-off, they actually performed ahead of expectations in the quarter." (First Union has done no underwriting for iVillage.)
Excluding the write-off -- which was related mostly to the company's investment in online drug store
-- Trabuco puts the second-quarter loss at 67 cents.
weighed in as well. It, too, saw a loss of 67 cents a share excluding certain items, but it also used a loss of 74 cents a share if discontinued operations were included. (Chase H&Q has performed underwriting for iVillage.)
Thursday's iVillage press release, meanwhile, was filled with plenty of numbers -- that the loss before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization from continuing operations excluding a one-time write-down was $9.9 million and that the net loss from continuing operations excluding certain items was $19.9 million -- but nowhere was a per-share figure that showed the company beat the consensus.
So in the midst of all this confusion surely iVillage, which runs women-oriented sites, stepped in to clear things up? Nope. Spokespeople couldn't be reached for comment.
Investors, meanwhile, weren't acting anything like they might have if iVillage had topped estimates. The stock was lately down 17/32, or 8%, to 6.
Almost overshadowed in all this was the appointment of President Doug McCormick to replace Candice Carpenter as the company's CEO. Carpenter, a company co-founder, takes over as chairperson.
Trabuco says McCormick has a "stellar reputation among people in the media world," brings a lot of experience to the job after having founded the
television network and will enhance iVillage's reputation as a company focused on traditional media rather than the Internet.
Whatever the medium, iVillage might want to practice on the old-fashioned earnings release.