Music download service Napster (NASDAQ: NAPS), yesterday reported a wider loss for Q4 but met or beat analyst consensus estimates.
Consensus estimates according to Thompson Financial were for a loss of 20c/share on revenue of $27.9m. For the period ended March 31, Napster reported a net loss of $8.5m (20c/share) as compared with a loss of $4.4m (10c/share) for the same period last year. Revenue for the period was up 9% to $29.1m ($26.8m for the same period last year). Worldwide paid subscribers were also up, reaching a total of 830,000, including 225,000 former AOL Music Now users. The number of paid subscribers was up 37% from the year-ago quarter.
In fiscal year reporting, Napster reported a net lost of $36.8m (85c/share), down from a loss of $54.9m for the prior year. Net revenue was up 17% to $111.1m. Cash reserves at year end were reported at $66.6m.
For the coming quarter, Napster set expectations for a first quarter loss of $6-$7m on projected revenue of $31m – below an average analyst expectation of $34.2 million.
With recent partnerships struck between Napster and AT&T, Circuit City and Motorola, the company is betting heavily that MP3 playing cell phones will increasingly replace standalone MP3 players. Napster is also hoping the partnerships will help reduce some of company’s marketing expenses.
More detailed press coverage on Napster’s finances can be found at: