WebMD Reports $4.62B Q3 Loss Related to Acquisitions
WebMD Corp. yesterday reported a net loss of $4.62 billion that includes a charge of $3.83 billion related to a "write-down" of some acquisitions, the Wall Street Journal reports. Over the last few quarters, WebMD has been writing down the value of acquisitions and taking charges as a result; the company said that the most recent write-down is part of a previously announced plan to review its assets. Excluding restructuring costs and the "large charge" associated with the write-down, in this year's third quarter, WebMD had a loss of $19.5 million, compared with a $65.8 million loss one year ago. Third-quarter revenue rose 10% to $167 million from $151.2 million -- "slightly below" Wall Street expectations (Harris, Wall Street Journal, 11/13). The company has spent more than $5 billion in less than two years to "buy companies and form partnerships" and this year had $6.4 billion in acquisition-related losses (Bloomberg News/Los Angeles Times, 11/13). Kevin Berg, a First Albany Corp. analyst, said that while WebMD has done a "good job with cost control," the company's long-term revenue projections are "disappoint[ing]." WebMD officials have said it will be "2003 before [the company will] see 15% revenue growth" (Wall Street Journal, 11/13).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.