Something Is Still Wrong At CNET (CNET)

CNET (CNET) announced earnings yesterday. The stock got a little bounce after hours. But, a look at the numbers shows that the company is still in trouble. That may be why it only trades at three times sales.

Revenue at CNET rose 6% to $99.5 million. The percent increase is not much given how fast internet advertising is going up. The company had an operating loss of over $16 million, but if “goodwill impairments” are backed out, it was closer to a break-even.

Pageviews for the company’s websites were either up or down from a year ago, depending on which of the firm’s two yardsticks Wall St. wants to use. In Q3 06, average daily pageviews were just above 86 million. They were 91 million in the last quarter. But, that number drops to 76 million if the figure takes into account a migration of its US data reporting platforms to its international properties.

The company also reported that 141 million unique visitors up from just over 124 million in the same quarter of last year.

All of this improvement in pageviews and visitors ought to drive a very big increase in advertising revenue, but, it did not.

And, that is the strange part.

Douglas A. McIntyre