Cyberian Outpost Q3 loss beats Street

Online retailer lost $1.1 million less than expected

Pioneer Web-based computer reseller Cyberian Outpost continued to lose money during its third quarter, ended 30 November, but the red figures were not as bad as anticipated. The figure posted was $7.6 million, up from $1.1 million for the same period last year. Wall Street estimates had put the loss at around $8.7 million. During the quarter, sales grew to $23.5 million, up some 286 per cent on the $6.1 million sales recorded for Q3 last year and 38 per cent on this year's second quarter. CFO Katherine Vick said the company's business had expanded considerably during the last two weeks of the quarter, thanks to a series of high-profile TV and print ads. Cyberian's roster of buying customers rose by 49,000 to 210,000 during November -- nearly a third of them visiting the site and making purchases during the last two weeks of the month. Repeat buyers accounted for 53 per cent of sales during the quarter. However, that campaign added $1.7 million to the Cyberian's costs, contributing to its large loss. The latest figures will again raise questions of Cyberian's ability to compete with the likes of Buy.com and most notably Egghead.com, the reseller which this year closed down its real-world stores in favour of an online-only strategy. Egghead brings a very well-known brand name to the online IT retail arena, but has some catching up to do with the rather better established Cyberian Outpost. ®

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