Restructuring Plan Sinks Quepasa.com

Quepasa.com (Nasdaq: PASA) fell 3/32 to 9/32 Tuesday after the company, which operates an online community for U.S. Hispanics, said it cut its staff to 20 from 58.

Quepasa said earlier this year it was looking for a buyer or another way to raise cash. Now, the company said, it is “actively pursuing” the sale of its RealEstateEspanol.com, Etrato.com and Credito.com subsidiaries.

To cover the job cuts, Quepasa said it will take a charge totaling about US$730,000 to fourth-quarter earnings.

“We have taken these actions in order to conserve our remaining cash,” said chairman and chief executive officer Gary L. Trujillo. “We are committed to continuing to operate the Quepasa Web site, which has been achieving growth in its metrics.”

The site saw 190 million ad impressions during the third quarter, as the number of registered users rose to about 568,000, Trujillo said.

Also Tuesday, Quepasa reported third-quarter revenue of $1.0 million, down 17 percent from the second quarter. The company said the slump in online advertising spending and its “difficulty in signing longer-term contracts” held results back.

The company posted a net loss of $7.9 million, or 45 cents per share, compared with a loss of $7.7 million, or 43 cents, a year earlier. Cash and equivalents at quarter’s end totaled some $9.5 million.

During the quarter, the company continued to work to build awareness of its site. In September, Quepasa.com sponsored “Latino Internet Month,” a nationwide initiative aimed at getting Hispanics online. The company worked with entertainer Gloria Estefan to distribute more than 1,000 free computers with Internet access to community centers, libraries and other organizations in Hispanic neighborhoods across the United States.

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