08/14/2002 11:00PM

Youbet posts loss again


Youbet.com, the online horse racing betting and broadcasting company, lost $2.6 million in the second quarter of 2002, or 13 cents per share, extending a string of losses for the company.

The $2.6 million loss was an improvement over the second quarter of 2001, when Youbet lost $3.2 million. Revenues were $6.0 million in the quarter, compared with revenues of $1.7 million in the second quarter of 2001.

Youbet expensed $1.3 million of the revenue in the second quarter this year to fees paid to a "related party," presumably Television Games Network, an expense that Youbet did not have in the first quarter of 2001. Youbet signed an agreement last year that allowed it to take TVG's signals, but the agreement also gave TVG the lion's share of revenue from handle on those signals.

Youbet has not turned a profit yet and has lost $70 million since 1999.

In a release, Youbet said that handle through the system increased 46 percent compared with the first quarter of 2002, from $27.1 million to $39.6 million, the highest quarterly handle the company has posted. Also in the quarter, sales and marketing expenses increased from $1.5 million to $3.3 million. Youbet stock was down one cent to 64 cents on Thursday, the day the earnings were announced.

During the quarter, Youbet was able to take wagers on the three Triple Crown races, the most popular races in the country.