IBeam Checks Options Amid Mounting Losses

IBeam Broadcasting Corp. posted a wider-than-expected first-quarter loss and said it is making substantial cuts in its work force. The streaming-media company also said it hired advisers to explore strategic alternatives as funding runs low.

The company recorded a net loss of $43.7 million, or 36 cents a share, compared with a loss of $32.2 million, or 43 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Excluding noncash charges and restructuring, the company had a loss of $28.7 million, or 23 cents a share, compared with a loss of $15.1 million, or 20 cents a share, a year earlier.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call were expecting a loss of 18 cents a share.

Revenue rose sharply to $9.2 million from $532,000 in the year-earlier period.

The company said it reduced its work force by 140 employees, or 25%, and made cuts in discretionary spending. The staff reductions are across the board in all functions and at all levels, iBeam (IBEM) said. The company said it expects to take a $1 million to $2 million charge in the second quarter associated with the job cuts.

At the end of the first quarter 2001, iBeam said its cash and marketable securities were $32.2 million. The company said it anticipates its existing cash position is “sufficient” to fund operations into the third quarter of this year.

The company also announced that its board authorized management to explore strategic alternatives to fund continued growth and enhance shareholder value. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein were retained as financial advisers.

Copyright (c) 2001 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.