Roundup: NeuStar, Blackboard, Legg Mason
From staff and wire reports
*NeuStar said it swung to a first-quarter loss of $4.5 million (6 cents a share), cmpared with a profit of $18 million (23 cents) in the comparable period a year earlier, as a hefty charge offset revenue growth. Revenue at the Sterling-based provider of clearinghouse services for communications companies rose 21 percent, to $117.4 million.
The recent quarter's loss resulted from a noncash goodwill-impairment charge of $29 million related to the company's Next Generation Messaging business.
NeuStar also cut its 2008 revenue guidance and issued a disappointing profit prediction for the year, citing reduced contributions from the Next Generation Messaging business.
*Blackboard also swung to a loss, as rising product revenue was overshadowed by climbing operating expenses. For the quarter ended March 31, the District-based firm reported a loss of $3.3 million (11 cents), compared with a profit of $1.9 million (7 cents). Revenue rose 23.9 percent, to $68.5 million.
Blackboard's product revenue rose 26.3 percent to $63.1 million, while professional services revenue increased 1.3 percent to $5.4 million. The company said it saw ongoing strong growth in licensing and managed hosting sales and better-than-anticipated results from its recently completed purchase of The NTI Group.
Operating expenses also rose, climbing 41.2 percent to $72.9 million, with acquisition-related expenses and sales and marketing expenses rising. The company's cost of product revenues also rose.
The educational software company raised its full-year forecast, but predicted second-quarter profit below Wall street estimates.
*Legg Mason said it priced an offering of a special class of stock the investment manager is selling to raise $1 billion. The company expects the sale to close Monday. After reporting a $255.5 million loss for the fiscal fourth quarter this week, Legg Mason said it planned to raise $1 billion by selling 20 million "equity units" for $50 each. These units entitle the owner to buy a share of Legg Mason's stock at a certain price and 5 percent of a $1,000 bond.
The holders of the equity units can convert to Legg Mason stock at $67.56 a share, which represents a 20 percent premium to the company's current stock price.
May 7, 2008; 5:12 PM ET
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