Juno Online Narrowers Loss

Juno Online Services Inc. reported a narrower-than-expected first-quarter net loss and said it cut about 40 jobs this month, leaving the firm with 259 employees world-wide.

Juno said the job cuts came as it scaled back selected departments and moved certain functions to its Hyderabad, India, office.

Juno said its net loss was $9.6 million, or 23 cents a share, compared with a loss of $47.6 million or $1.28 cents a share, a year earlier. Wall Street analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call expected a loss of 24 cents a share.

The Internet services firm reported first-quarter revenue of $28.7 million, up 20% from $24 million last year. The company said that roughly 80% of revenue came from billable services, with the remaining 20% from advertising sales and e-commerce.

“We are very pleased with the continued improvement in Juno’s operating results, and expect to report additional improvements in our bottom-line financial results over the next two quarters,” said Charles Ardai, Juno’s president and chief executive officer, in a statement.

Juno saw modest success for its ongoing campaign to migrate users of its free Internet service to premium subscription offerings. Although the company saw some attrition from its efforts to convince free surfers to upgrade — which included locking nonbillable customers out of the service during busy periods — Juno’s billable subscriber base grew slightly, to 910,000 users at the end of March from 842,000 at the end of last December. Juno’s total subscription base grew to 4.1 million in March from four million in December.

As of the end of the quarter, Juno had $46.8 million in cash, and believes that amount will last until the company is profitable. The company said it expects to report a net loss of $15 million for the remaining nine months of the year.

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