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CMGI loses $1bn in Q3

Are they sure it's lost and not just mislaid?

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Internet holding group - CMGI - continues to throw good money after bad following its announcement that it lost $1 billion in its third quarter.

News of the hefty loss is fuelling the doom merchants who believe CMGI is burning out and heading for disaster.

However, in a conference call yesterday, CMGI chairman and CEO, David Wetherell, said the company had enough cash to last another three years and that it was taking steps to reduce its cash burn.

At one point CMGI had more than $2 billion in cash stashed away. At the end of July that figure is set to fall to $785 million.

CMGI reported net revenue of $301 million for the third quarter ended April 30, 2001, a 29 per cent increase compared with Q3 2000. It also recorded an operating loss of $996 million for Q3.

Net revenue for the company's "search and portals segment" - that AltaVista to you and me - decreased 41 per cent compared with Q3 2000, and decreased 33 per cent compared with Q2 2001.

Said Wetherell in a statement: "Substantial progress has been made on refining our business model, but there is still more work to be done.

"We were extremely pleased that we exceeded our consolidated financial expectations for the third quarter and significantly reduced our operating cash usage.

"We expect that these trends will continue into fiscal 2002," he said.

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