Season pass: TiVo sees profit for '08


Even without the money it collected because of a patent-infringement lawsuit, TiVo notched the first profitable fiscal year in its history.

The company earned $104 million in 2008, or $300,000 without the cash EchoStar was required to pay.

During its fiscal fourth quarter, TiVo's net loss was $3.6 million, well below the company's forecast of up to a $12 million loss. In the same quarter last year, TiVo lost $6.4 million. Revenue fell 20% to $59.2 million.

Earnings beat Wall Street expectations, and TiVo provided decent guidance, so shares soared as much as 10% in after-hours trading after dropping 7% to $6.60 during the regular session.

On a conference call with analysts, CEO Tom Rogers did his best to convince analysts and consumers that TiVo is akin to the "great American entertainment bailout."

TiVo subscribers, he said, are saving money by renting cable cards instead of set-top boxes and taking advantage of TiVo's VOD partnerships with Netflix and Amazon.

"TiVo makes sense now for their wallets," he said.

Perhaps, but the company still is losing subscribers at a healthy clip, as it has been for several years. TiVo ended its fiscal fourth quarter with 3.3 million subscribers, almost 16% fewer than a year ago. (partialdiff)
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