Earnings: CNET Q4 Revs Rise 11 Percent To $125.5 Million; Tax Benefits Boost Profit

CNET (NSDQ: CNET) posted higher profits and revenues in Q4, as net income rose to $202.6 million, ($1.33 per share) from last year’s $5.3 million ($0.03 per share), thanks mainly to a $184.2 million income tax benefit. Revenues were $125.5 million, an 11 percent gain versus $113.1 million in the same quarter last year. Operating income before deductions was $35.5 million in Q4, compared with $23.4 million year over year.

At the same time as releasing earnings, CNET announced that CFO George Mazzotta was leaving, to be replaced by M&A head Zander Lurie, and that it had acquired Chinese auto site Cheshi.

2007: Total revenues for the full year were in line with Q4. Revenues were $405.9 million, a 10 percent increase from 2006’s $369.3 million. Again, due to the same tax benefit the year’s total net income was $176.8 million ($1.16 per share) in comparison with the $6.8 million ($0.04 per share) CNET saw the previous year.

Revenue breakdown: CNET wants to grow its international revenues. In the meantime, as evidenced by its investments in China, revenue for the US media segment outweighs international roughly 3-1: $94.7 million to $30.8 million.

Metrics: The company claimed it attracted 147.6 million monthly uniques in Q4, including its properties in China and Europe, and that average daily page views neared 83
million.

Outlook for ’08: The media company expects total revenues this year to be in the range of $440 million to $460 million – or a growth rate between 8-13 percent. For Q1, CNET is anticipating revenues to arrive somewhere between $91 million and $95 million, for year-over-year growth ranging from 2-7 percent.

Margin: CNET’s operating margin doubled to 4 percent from 2 percent in 2007; excluding the costs of the now-completed stock option investigation, the post-deduction margin would have been 20 percent for each year.

Earnings release | Webcast

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