WebMD Corp., a healthcare information company known for piling up multibillion-dollar losses in quarterly chunks, has posted the first operating and net gains in its four-year history. For the third quarter ended Sept. 30, the Elmwood Park, N.J.-based company eked out a $21,000 profit from continuing operations and $4.54 million in net income on revenue of $200.2 million. The company would have lost money in the just-ended quarter, however, if not for a one-time tax break and the addition of revenue from discontinued operations. An income-tax benefit worth $12.88 million resulting from the Job Creation and Workers Assistance Act of 2002 wiped out an operating loss of $12.86 million to put operations in the black. And income of $4.52 million from discontinued operations supplied most of the net margin. In the third quarter of 2001, WebMD posted an operating and net loss of $4.6 billion, which included a $3.8 billion charge to reflect a decline in assets. For the first nine months of 2002, WebMD lost $47.3 million on revenue of $593 million, compared with a $6.5 billion loss in the first nine months of 2001 on revenue of $585 million. -- John Morrissey
With help, WebMD records first profit
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