Jupiter Media Metrix Warns of Shortfall, Fires 80

The research firm cites a softening economy as growth weakens.
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Jupiter Media Metrix (JMXI) , a research firm that rode the New Economy on its way up, is getting dragged down with it as it stumbles.

The firm, formed from Silicon Alley firm

Jupiter Communications

and Internet audience measurement company

Media Metrix

, said Wednesday evening that losses for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 will be much wider than previously anticipated, leading the company to cut 8% of its staff, or 80 employees.

Instead of a loss of a penny a share, excluding amortization, which the company previously forecasted, Jupiter Media Metrix now says it expects a loss of 22 to 23 cents per share. Revenue will come in between $38.2 million and $38.5 million, below the range of $39.5 million and $42 million that the company previously estimated.

In part, the company blamed expenses that were based on an expected growth rate that didn't materialize given the rapid softening of the economy. Unanticipated costs in the company's international expansion and one-time costs related to the merger both hit the bottom line, Chairman Tod Johnson said in a statement.

During daytime trading Wednesday, Jupiter Media Metrix's stock rose 44 cents to $8.44. In light after-hours trading on

Island

, the stock fell to $7.50.