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Internet consultancy Razorfish, New York, on Feb. 8 reported its first-ever loss from operations and said fourth-quarter sales declined as many of its clients slashed discretionary spending. Razorfish, which noted that the slowdown in ad spending was across the board and not limited to dot-com companies, said the industry had undergone a "rapid and significant change" and that the company needed to trim expenses while trying to acquire new skills to survive the spending downturn and remain relevant. The company reported a pro forma fourth-quarter loss, before some unusual items, of $19.8 million, or 20 cents per share, compared with a profit of $5.8 million, or 6 cents per share in the year-ago period. The loss was in line with Wall Street forecasts, according to First Call, which tracks analyst estimates. Razorfish said its sales declined to $50.1 million from $52.7 million in the year-ago quarter.

Copyright February 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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