Menu's losses expected to shrink's losses expected to shrink

Online retail giant on Monday forecast a pro-forma operating loss of less than $US67 million on pro-forma nets sales of over $960 million for the quarter ending December 31.

Emphasising the preliminary, unaudited nature of the results, the US-based company said in a statement that its net sales expectations represented a 40 per cent increase over net sales of $676 million during the same quarter last year.

Gross profit is expected to exceed $210 million for the fourth quarter, up from $88 million in Q4 1999, an increase of 140 per cent year on year, said.

The company is forecasting a pro forma operating loss for Q4 of less than 7 per cent of net sales, or less than approximately $67 million, said. This is compared to a loss in Q4 1999 of 26 per cent of net sales, or about $175 million, the company said.

Financial analysts are expecting a loss of 26 cents a share, according to a consensus estimate from 29 brokers polled by First Call/Thomson Financial. closed 6 cents higher on the news on Monday, at $14.94 per share. This is just above its 52-week low of $13.56 per share, but well below its 52-week high of $91.56 per share. will release its finalised fourth quarter report on January 30, after the stock market closes in New York, the company said.

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