Caliber Learning cuts 2nd-quarter loss

Revenue rises

company begins Internet service

Telecommunications

July 22, 1999|By Amanda J. Crawford | Amanda J. Crawford,SUN STAFF

Caliber Learning Network Inc. reported yesterday that it narrowed its second-quarter loss on sharply higher revenue and announced that it has launched an Internet-based learning service.

The Baltimore-based company, which offers distance-learning services for corporations and universities, posted a loss of $6.1 million, or 50 cents a diluted share, compared with a loss of $6.6 million, or 60 cents a diluted share, for the same period last year.

Shares outstanding in the quarter rose to 12.3 million from 11.1 million in the same quarter last year.

Net revenue for the three months that ended June 30 jumped 74 percent to $6.6 million from $3.8 million the previous year. Spending increased 23 percent to $12.6 million from $10.3 million a year ago.

"We are very pleased with our second-quarter results, which showed a record revenue quarter," said Rick Frier, vice president and chief financial officer. "Overall, all segments of our business have shown significant revenue growth over the last year, resulting in a lower net loss for the company."

Peter Appert, an analyst with Deutsch Banc Alex. Brown Inc., said the company's results were in line with his expectations.

"This is an early-stage company, so it is still losing money, and we expect it will continue to lose money for a while yet," he said. "What we want to see is positive momentum from a revenue standpoint, which is what we are seeing. We also want to see a decrease in losses, which we are also seeing."

Caliber, an affiliate of Sylvan Learning Systems Inc., also said yesterday that its new Internet service will enable its corporate and university clients to offer instruction or training that could be accessed from home or the workplace. Its education programs now are accessible only at its 40 regional Caliber learning centers.

"It's a huge addition to us in terms of the business," said Chris Nguyen, president and chief executive. "We are extremely excited about entering the Internet marketplace."

Appert said the new venture could significantly broaden the market for Caliber's programs.

"Caliber has the potential to be one of the most significant players in this emerging market," he said.

Johns Hopkins University's Business of Medicine Executive Graduate Certificate Program, a distance-learning program for doctors, will be the first university program to use the Internet services in addition to the regional classrooms in September.

Shares of Caliber closed yesterday at $5.2813, up 28.13 cents.

Pub Date: 7/22/99

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