Updated from 7:55 a.m. EDT
sharply reduced its quarterly loss in the second quarter as both subscription and advertising revenue rose. It also said its cash-burn rate for the quarter was one-tenth that of a year earlier and the lowest in company history.
"Given the harsh economic environment, we have turned in a stellar performance," said CEO Tom Clarke on a conference call.
The online financial news and commentary provider, which publishes this Web site, Wednesday posted a loss of $2 million, or 8 cents a share, for the quarter ended June 30, under generally accepted accounting principles.
That compares with losses of $6.9 million, or 25 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter, and $3.7 million, or 16 cents a share, in the first quarter of this year.
Revenue was $5.5 million, up 35% sequentially and 54% from the year-earlier quarter. With advertising revenue increasing and subscription revenue up substantially, total revenue was the highest since the company's fourth quarter of 2000.
"These solid across-the-board results validate our conviction that multiple revenue streams will continue to provide the foundation for our continued success," Clarke said.
During the call, Clarke noted that the company remains "solely focused" on achieving profitability and is moving "rapidly" in that direction. He also said the firm plans to launch another product for professional investors and is considering a couple of other products aimed at the consumer.
Gross margins increased to 67% in the second quarter from 41% in the same period last year, which CFO Lisa Mogensen said demonstrates the firm's ability to slash costs and increase revenue.
TheStreet said subscription revenue rose 74% year over year, to $3.7 million in the quarter, while advertising revenue was $1.2 million, up 11% from a year earlier. Ad revenue was up 74% from the first quarter of the year, the company said.
The subscription revenue was the highest in TheStreet.com's history, the company said, as it added new products to serve various segments of the investment community. The company said second-quarter subscription bookings were $4.4 million, more than double those of a year ago, while deferred revenue rose $464,000 to $5.7 million.
"In addition to our solid subscription-revenue growth, we are delighted to see that some of our internal initiatives are paying off with increased advertising revenue," Clarke said. "This quarter, we were able to obtain a diverse base of advertising clients as a result of our strong demographics and continued product innovation."
TheStreet.com's cash burn was $660,000 in the quarter, the lowest level in its history as a publicly traded company and down from $7.8 million in the year-ago quarter. Operating expenses were $5.8 million, down 35% year over year. Cash, restricted cash and investments essentially were flat at $31 million.
The company said it bought back 0.3% of its stock outstanding in the quarter, bringing to 19.2% the amount TheStreet has repurchased under a previously authorized program.
"The company will continue to be an active buyer of its own shares as long as we feel that there is a discrepancy between our intrinsic value and the stock price," Clarke said.
In addition to its advertising-supported flagship site,
, the company publishes
, a subscription site for active investors,
, a subscription site for professional investors, as well as several subscription email services.