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Thursday reported a first-quarter loss in line with forecasts as revenue declined sharply.

On the bright side, iVillage managed to narrow cash-flow losses by cutting costs. The company also said it plans to complete the acquisition of sub-dollar-stock rival Networks


by midyear.

iVillage, which in late April received a notice of possible


delisting because of its suffering stock price, saw its shares rise 9 cents to $1.23 ahead of the release.

The company's results indicate that despite iVillage's declaration that it is solidifying its position as "the No. 1 women's Web property," the current financial rewards of such a distinction are scant.

In the quarter ended March 31, iVillage reported revenue from continuing operations of $12.6 million, down from $18.1 million a year earlier and $18.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2000. The 33% revenue decline from the fourth quarter was at the low end of the 25% to 35% fall that the company had forecast in early February.

Net loss from continuing operations, excluding restructuring charges and a loss on an investment, amounted to $11.4 million, or 38 cents per share, matching the consensus estimate published by

Thomson Financial/First Call.

That compared to a loss of $22.3 million, or 75 cents per share, a year earlier. The pro forma EBITDA loss from continuing operations of $7.9 million beat the company's guidance of a $10 million worst-case-scenario loss; the comparable EBITDA loss in the first quarter of 2000 was $12.5 million. (EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, is a measure of cash flow Wall Street often uses to gauge the performance of money-losing companies.) Executives credited "managerial efficiencies" for the narrowing loss, citing significant cuts in general-and-administrative and sales-and-marketing expenses.

The company, which went through the usual procedure of soliciting questions from analysts on its conference call Thursday night, got no takers. Executives had said they wouldn't answer any questions about forward-looking issues because of the pending transaction.