This story was written by David Kaplan.
In contrast to its main movie-rental rival, Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX), which posted double digit Q3 profit and revenue gains last month, Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI) said its Q3 revenues fell 2.7 percent, or $33.6 million, to $1.20 billion. The company narrowed its net loss by 48.3 percent to $17.8 million ($0.11 per share), compared the $34.4 million ($0.20 per share) loss in Q307. Analyst estimates projected net loss of $0.16 cents per share on revenue of $1.27 billion, AP reported ahead of the earnings release. Revenues suffered from lower subscription rentals and a fall-off in the brick-and-mortar retail business globally. Games were a bright spot, with related merchandise revenues rising 35.1 percent, helping same store U.S. sales rise 5.1 percent. No details about online activity.
-- Gross profit during the quarter dropped $26.9 million from Q307 to $643.3 million. Gross margin declined 70 basis points to 53.4 percent.
-- Costs tied to ad spending increased, totaling $32.4 million from last year's $27.5 million.
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By David Kaplan