CNet Says Revenues in the Form of Stock to Decline Next Year

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CNet Networks

(CNET) - Get Report

issued a clarification Friday of a regulatory filing in which it said that $5.8 million in third-quarter 2000 revenues, or 10% of total revenues, came in the form of equity from advertisers on its network.

Including revenue from recently acquired

ZDNet

, the company said revenues earned in the form of equity, which stem primarily from three contracts that CNET struck in 1998 and 1999, was 5% of total revenues.

The company said it issued the statement in response to "investor inquiries" prompted by a third-quarter report filed Nov. 14 with the

Securities and Exchange Commission

.

Shares of the company fell 26% on Thursday to $19.13 amid investor questions about its revenues from stock. But it recovered a bit to close at $19.50. It rose another $1.25 to $20.75 in early trading Friday.

The company, which provides information and services on the Internet, also said it expects revenues from equities paid by advertisers to fall in 2001.

The company said two of the contracts were for a combination of cash and equity and one was for all equity. Two of the contracts expire at the end of the fourth quarter, while the third expires in April 2001. CNet did disclose the names of the other parties to the contracts.

CNet reported more than $340 million in cash and marketable debt securities in the third quarter ended Sept. 30. The company also said its ownership in marketable equity securities was valued at an additional $130 million, based on Sept. 29 closing share prices. CNet said its largest holdings in marketable equity securities were of

Siebel Systems

(SEBL)

,

Vignette

(VIGN)

,

NBCi

(NBCI)

and

Niku

(NIKU)

. Those stocks make up 89% of the total, the company said.

CNet said its 2001 revenue guidance of $580 million is based on the percentage of revenue earned in the form of equity to be smaller than in 2000. It sees revenues from equities to be about 5% in the fourth quarter. It also said that revenues in the form of equity were higher in the third quarter than they were in the second quarter.

The company earned $110.9 million in the third quarter of 2000.