CNet Sinks on CFO Move, Weak Outlook

A seven-year veteran of the CFO post says he wants a new job at the online publisher.
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CNet

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posted a third-quarter profit Thursday but guided toward weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter revenue.

The company also agreed to acquire a pair of Chinese online properties for $16 million in cash, and said its financial chief would take an undisclosed new post within the company.

Shares of CNet slipped 9% in after-hours trading.

The San Francisco-based online publisher said finance chief Doug Woodrum "has decided to transition out of the role of CFO, a position that he has held for almost seven years, into a new role within the company." CNet said Woodrum would remain CFO through the first quarter while the company searches for a successor.

ZOL and Fengniao operate the zol.com.cn and fengniao.com Web sites. ZOL is a provider of online personal technology-related content and shopping services in Northern China, while Fengniao is one of China's leading digital photography properties, with reviews on over 1,000 digital cameras, as well as a large image database, content and forums related to the digital photography category.

For its third quarter ended Sept. 30, CNet earned $1.1 million, or a penny a share. That reverses the year-ago loss of $5.8 million, or 4 cents a share. Sales rose 22% from a year ago to $70.5 million.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had expected a break-even quarter on $70 million in sales.

The company also guided toward fourth-quarter revenue of $86 million to $89 million and 2005 revenue of $340 million to $355 million. Analysts had expected revenue of $91 million for the fourth quarter and $350 million for 2005.

After slipping 20 cents in regular trading Thursday, CNet slipped 86 cents after hours to $8.40.