WebMD Corp. posted an operating profit for 2003 and a net profit for its fourth quarter on the strength of two acquisitions and improved results in its three operating divisions. The company recorded a net loss for the year, however, because of a $33.6 million charge for discontinued operations. For the quarter, WebMD earned operating and net income of $10.5 million on revenue of $258 million, compared with a net loss of $2.4 million in the year-ago quarter on revenue of $229 million. For the year, the information services and processing company lost $17 million on revenue of $964 million, an improvement from 2002 when it lost $50 million on revenue of $872 million. Excluding the loss from discontinued operations, the company posted an operating profit of $16.6 million in 2003. Fourth-quarter revenue of $140 million in WebMD's Envoy information processing division were 20.2% higher than in the 2002 quarter, primarily related to the midyear acquisition of Advanced Business Fulfillment, the company said. Separately, WebMD announced that it had privately placed $100 million in convertible preferred stock with a private equity fund managed by the Pacific Corporate Group and principally backed by the California Public Employees' Retirement System. -- by John Morrissey
Acquisitions, improved operations boost WebMD
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