TiVo Widens 1Q Loss to $10.7 Million

The Associated Press
Thursday, May 25, 2006; 12:58 AM

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- TiVo Inc., a provider of digital video recorders, posted a wider first-quarter loss on Wednesday, citing legal costs, aggressive pricing and stock option expenses.

In the three months ending April 30, the DVR pioneer said it lost $10.7 million, or 13 cents per share, compared to a loss of $857,000, or 1 cent per share, in the year-ago period.

Revenue rose 38 percent to $55.1 million from $40 million a year ago.

Analysts, on average, were expecting a loss of 19 cents per share on sales of $50.6 million, according to a poll by Thomson Financial.

The Alviso-based company said it added 91,000 TiVo-owned subscriptions in the quarter, compared to 104,000 last year. In addition, TiVo said it netted for the quarter about 2,000 new subscribers through DirecTV customers using TiVo-based products.

In all, the gains brought the company's total number of subscribers as of the end of the quarter to more than 4.4 million, a 33 percent increase from the total a year ago.

In its current quarter, TiVo said it expects to lose $12 million to $15 million on revenue of $50 million to $53 million. Analysts were projecting on average a loss of 8 cents a share on revenue of $52.2 million.

TiVo shares fell 23 cents, or 3 percent, to close at $7.14 Wednesday on the Nasdaq. They gained a penny in late-session trading after the income report was released.

While "our results are tracking nicely against our internal plans, we fully recognize that there's still a lot of work to do to overcome some of our marketplace challenges," TiVo CEO Tom Rogers said in a conference call with analysts.

TiVo is battling increasing competition from rival DVR offerings from cable and satellite TV providers. It also is in the midst of a patent battle with EchoStar Communications Corp.

That legal wrangling flared up this week as TiVo filed an injunction seeking to ban EchoStar from making or selling its digital video recorder product. TiVo's request, which also included a recall of EchoStar's DVR products, follows a jury verdict that found EchoStar willfully infringed on TiVo's key "time-warp" DVR patent and awarded TiVo $74 million in damages.

TiVo officials said Wednesday in its conference call with analysts that it planned to file court documents Thursday seeking additional damages as well as the injunction. Rogers said he was "confident" TiVo would prevail.

U.S. District Judge David Folsom, who also presided over the jury trial in Texas, will hold a hearing on the matters beginning June 26.

Meanwhile, TiVo and EchoStar also issued dueling statements Wednesday in reaction to a preliminary rejection by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office of some of TiVo's patent claims. EchoStar said the patent office decision, made Tuesday, will bolster its case against TiVo, while TiVo portrayed it as insignificant.

TiVo said the patent office had re-examined 61 claims and was "pleased" the office confirmed the validity of most of them, including two that the jury found EchoStar had infringed. Some patent claims were rejected but "this should in no way impact the jury verdict," the company said.

EchoStar, a satellite TV company based in Englewood, Colo., also said it was "pleased" with the patent office's reexamination and that the decision, together with a favorable decision from the Court of Appeals earlier this month, "are steps in the right direction as we prepare our response to TiVo's recently filed injunction motion."

TiVo called EchoStar's statement "a misleading spin" and later added in the conference call that it thought EchoStar "mischaracterized" the appellate court decision.

EchoStar also has a countersuit pending against TiVo, scheduled for early next year, also in Texas.

© 2006 The Associated Press