Real estate media and technology provider Homestore today reported a net loss of $12.1 million or 10 cents a share in the fourth quarter 2003.

Earnings results improved from a $37.6 million loss, or 32 cents a share, in the fourth quarter 2002, and $30.6 million, or 26 cents a share in the third quarter 2003.

Fourth quarter 2003 revenue fell to $54.9 million from $55.1 million the previous quarter and $60.8 million during the fourth quarter 2002. The year-over-year decline in revenue was due primarily to the expiration of certain legacy revenue agreements with Cendant that accounted for $3.6 million, and a decline in software revenue from the sale of The Hessel Group, the company said.

Homestore had $35.5 million in cash and short-term investments available to fund operations. The cash balance reflects a $10 million payment made on Oct. 15, 2003, related to a class action settlement with The California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS).

“As we move beyond the historical financial, legal and operational issues that challenged the company’s development, we are encouraged by the returns we are receiving from our staged product and marketing investment priorities,” Homestore CEO Mike Long said.

Homestore’s media services segment, its largest business, reported revenue growth for a third consecutive quarter.

“This segment also achieved improved profitability, with operating margins increasing from 6.6 percent in the third quarter (2003) to 15 percent in the fourth,” Long said.

Homestore’s full-year results included $218.7 million in revenue, down $45.9 million from $264.6 million in 2002. Loss from continuing operations was $49.7 million, or 42 cents a share, compared with a loss of $176.1 million, or $1.49 a share for 2002. The net loss for the year was $47.1 million, or 40 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $163.4 million, or $1.39 a share, for 2002.

Homestore (Nasdaq: HOMS) shares closed at $4.16 per share today.

Westlake Village, Calif.-based Homestore owns and operates, the official Web site of the National Association of Realtors.


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