Stock Watch: Q3 Revenue Gain Boosts Ticketmaster Online

Ticketmaster Online-Citysearch, Inc. (Nasdaq: TMCS) picked up 1 7/16 to 12 1/16 Thursday after reporting a smaller third-quarter loss than analysts had predicted.

The Pasadena, California-based operator of ticket-selling and locally targeted Web sites said revenue rose 108 percent from a year earlier to $57.1 million. Sponsorship and advertising revenue rose 192 percent.

The loss before items narrowed to $7.6 million, or 11 cents per share, from $12.5 million, or 17 cents. Analysts were looking for a loss of 13 cents per share.

President and chief executive officer John Pleasants said the results reflect the company’s “unique competitive positioning.” Ticketmaster operates the Citysearch network of local Web sites, which benefit from targeted local advertising and business services, as well as the subscription-based matchmaking service Match.com.

Traffic during the quarter rose 108 percent from a year earlier to about 773 million page views. The combined reach of the company’s Web sites among home and work users increased to 10 percent in August, with unique users totaling 8.0 million, up 90 percent from a year earlier, Ticketmaster said, citing Media Metrix.

Revenue from ticketing services rose 105 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, totaling $34.1 million. Gross transaction value on Ticketmaster.com was approximately $213.1 million, as the site sold more than 4.7 million tickets, or 25.2 percent of the total sold by Ticketmaster Corp. in the U.S., the UK and Canada.

“We are very optimistic about continued growth in the online percentage over the balance of the year and into 2001,” said Pleasants, who expects more than 30 percent of Ticketmaster Corp.’s ticket sales to come from the Web next year.

Revenue from sponsorships and advertising rose 192 percent to $5.3 million. “We are particularly pleased that some of the nation’s leading brands are recognizing the value of our national platform of local city guides,” Pleasants said.

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