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Diller's USA Networks Cuts Loss, Increases Cash Flow

July 30, 1999| From Bloomberg News

USA Networks Inc., owner of the top-rated cable channel, said its second-quarter loss narrowed as cash flow rose, bolstered by wrestling shows and ticket sales to Bruce Springsteen concerts. The media and electronic-retailing company headed by Barry Diller said it had a pro forma loss from operations of $10 million, or 6 cents a share, compared with a loss of $12.4 million, or 9 cents, in the year-earlier quarter. Revenue rose 13% to $804.5 million from $711.5 million.

USA Network, the top-rated cable channel, had its best quarter ever as World Wrestling Federation matches lured more viewers and fueled advertising sales. Also TicketMaster, the nation's leading event ticketing agency, which is controlled by USA, sold 10.5% more tickets, helped by popular events such as the summer tour of rock star Bruce Springsteen.

The New York-based company said cash flow, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, rose 10.5% to $137.7 million from $124.6 million. Some analysts and investors use cash flow to measure the performance of media companies because it focuses on operations and excludes interest payments and noncash charges such as depreciation.

In the most recent quarter, the sale of securities resulted in a gain of about $700,000, or less than a penny a share.

Shares of USA Networks rose 94 cents to close at $45.94 on Nasdaq.

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