WebMD Corp., Elmwood Park, N.J., reported a $7.2 million net loss for the first quarter, an improvement from its net loss of $29.6 million in the first quarter of 2002 and a fraction of the multibillion-dollar losses it posted in 2000 and 2001. Revenue grew 4% to $234.7 million; however, continued investment in new products and services and restructuring costs persisting from its acquisition of about 30 companies over a three-year stretch kept WebMD in the red. More than half the company's revenue came from its electronic claims-processing division, and company officials said implementation of transaction standards required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 should fuel growth. WebMD has recorded only one quarterly profit since going public in late 1999 -- $4.5 million in net income in the third quarter of 2002 -- but that was largely from discontinued operations. Operating income totaled $21,000. In other news, WebMD named President Roger Holstein as its CEO as well. Martin Wygod, who had been chairman and CEO, continues as chairman. -- by John Morrissey
WebMD narrows loss, as Wygod leaves CEO role
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