04/26/2004 11:00PM

Youbet shows first profit

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Youbet.com, the online horse racing wagering company, made $15,000 in the first quarter of 2004, the first time the company has posted a profit in its five-year history as a public company. Last year during the first quarter, Youbet lost $1.2 million.

Revenues for the quarter were $5.4 million, up 43 percent compared with $3.8 million in the first quarter of 2003, according to financial reports released Tuesday. Handle during the quarter was up 18 percent to $72 million, compared to $61 million last year.

Youbet's profit came in a quarter in which Magna Entertainment, the huge racing company, limited the broadcast of its signals. Late in 2003, Magna pulled its signals from Youbet - with the exception of its California tracks - in order to drive business to its own home-wagering system, XpressBet.