Local.com Posts Earnings, CEO Is 'Bullish' For 2009

Local search site and network Local.com Corp. reported its financial results Thursday for the fourth quarter of 2008 and the full year ended Dec. 31, 2008, and provided the company's 2009 outlook.

"We are bullish for 2009, projecting approximately $50 million in overall revenue and a return to net income for the entire year," said Heath Clarke, Local.com chairman and CEO, in a statement. "Despite a challenging economy, we are well positioned and have a balance sheet that will allow us to take advantage of strategic opportunities throughout the year. Our focus is on continued execution in driving sales and organic traffic."

Fourth-quarter 2008 revenue was $9.6 million--slightly above the mid-range of the company's prior guidance of $9 to $10 million. This represented growth of 61% over the fourth quarter of 2007. A net loss of $2.2 million or $0.15 per common share was at the mid-range of guidance--an increase of $0.5 million from the third quarter of 2008 that included non-cash expenses of $935,000 or $0.06 per share.

Adjusted EBITDA was ($1.3 million), an improvement from ($1.7 million) in the fourth quarter of 2007. Adjusted EBITDA is net loss excluding: provision for income taxes; interest and other income (expenses), net; depreciation; amortization; and stock based compensation charges.

The company expects first-quarter 2009 revenue to be between $10.6 and $10.8 million, which represents between an 11% and 13% sequential increase over the fourth quarter of 2008. The company expects net loss for the first quarter of 2009 to be approximately $2.5 million, or ($0.17) per share, and to include the following items: interest and other income and (expenses) of $6,000; depreciation and amortization of $425,000; and stock based compensation charges of $465,000.

Excluding the above figures from net loss, adjusted EBITDA is expected to be approximately ($1.6 million), or ($0.11) per share for the first quarter of 2009. The loss-per-share forecast assumes a weighted average share count of 14.45 million.

For fiscal 2009, the company expects revenues to be approximately $50 million, which represents about a 31% growth over 2008; the company also expects to have net income for fiscal 2009.

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