LookSmart Upgrades Q1 Financial Outlook

NEW YORK Internet search company LookSmart has raised it first-quarter financial guidance to $21-23 million in revenue, up from the previously forecasted $16-18 million.

The San Francisco-based outfit also said it expects its Q1 adjusted net loss, which includes restructuring charges of $4-5 million, to narrow to $10-12 million from prior projections of $12-14 million.

The improved outlook was attributed to solid growth in its paid-inclusion LookListings business, progress in reducing the company’s overall cost structure and the addition of distribution partners to its Sponsored Search network. LookSmart interim chief executive officer Damian Smith said he anticipated year-over-year sponsored search revenue to grow more than 25 percent in the first quarter.

First-quarter earnings are due out April 29.

In the fourth quarter, LookSmart reported revenue of $44.1 million, an increase of 41 percent over $31.3 million in the year-ago quarter. Its Q4 adjusted net loss was $100,000, or 0 cents per diluted share, which includes a restructuring charge of $4.2 million. That compares to adjusted net income of $34.9 million, or 33 cents per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2002.

LookSmart stock (LOOK) was trading on the Nasdaq today at $1.82, down 8 cents or 4 percent. Its 52-week high is $4.80; its low, $1.17.