United Online Sags on Lower Guidance - TheStreet

Updated from Aug. 4

United Online

(UNTD)

plunged 21% early Thursday after posting weaker-than-expected second-quarter revenue.

The parent of cut-rate Internet service providers Juno and NetZero also trimmed its subscriber-growth guidance for the year.

For the second quarter ended June 30, United Online reported net income of $12.3 million, or 19 cents per share. That's down from a tax-benefit-aided profit of $14.6 million in the corresponding quarter of 2003.

Adjusted net income -- which excludes items such as facility exit costs and stock-based compensation -- amounted to 25 cents a share, a penny higher than the Thomson First Call consensus.

Adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization, also known as EBITDA, was $28.4 million, in line with estimates. Revenue of $110.6 million, up 39% from the prior year, fell short of the $113 million First Call consensus.

The company said that its growth in access subscribers was lower than expected, because of factors such as seasonally lower Internet usage and increased competition.

Looking ahead, United Online provided third-quarter revenue guidance in the range of $109 million to $112 million, short of analysts' current expectations of $119 million. Adjusted OIBDA guidance for the quarter is in the range of $28 million to $29 million, just below the First Call figure of $29.4 million.

The company also lowered guidance for total paying subscribers at year-end, moving from a range of 3.35 million to 3.55 million to a range of 3.3 million to 3.5 million.

United Online, however, raised full-year adjusted OIBDA guidance, from a range of $106 million to $111 million to a range of $110 million to $112 million. The new range, however, is still below the First Call forecast of $116 million.

Shares in United Online, which have slid from a 52-week high of $29.09, were establishing new 52-week lows Thursday. Shares dropped $2.95 to $10.90.