Friday, May 15, 2009

NTN Buzztime quarterly financial results - is the change in direction paying off?

I was unable to discuss this on Thursday, but today I can talk about NTN Buzztime's release of its quarterly results.

In one respect financial results are often a Boolean operation - did you make money, or lose it? But the market is a little more sophisticated than that, and often gets into calculus-like examinations of slopes and trends and junk like that.

So in one respect, you can say that NTN Buzztime lost money. But on the other hand, as RTT News notes, they lost a lot less this quarter than they did in a comparable quarter a year ago.

Thursday, NTN Buzztime Inc. (NTN: News ) reported a first-quarter net loss of $255 thousand or breakeven per share, compared to a loss of $2.6 million or $0.05 per share in the same quarter last year.

RTT also noted that, while revenues declined, this is according to plan as NTN Buzztime refocuses on specific markets (which presumably will be more profitable).

RTT didn't address NTN Buzztime's various i-acquisitions, which aren't affecting the quarterly results, but CEO Terry Bateman did mention them, and some other strategic initiatives, in the opening to the press release:

"Our first-quarter results and recent strategic initiatives show that we are fulfilling our commitments to stabilize and grow our site count, reduce expenses, expand our reach in out-of-home advertising - including promotions and advertiser-sponsored events - and introduce our popular games into the online and mobile arena," commented NTN Buzztime CEO Terry Bateman. "Our net site count grew by 18 sites during the first quarter of 2009. We have reduced payroll by approximately $700,000 compared to the same quarter last year and cut overall SG&A expenses from approximately $7.3 million in last year's first quarter to $4.8 million in the 2009 first quarter. We have definitely made progress on our planned turnaround and are working to keep the momentum growing."

Mr. Bateman continued, "On the business-building side of the equation, we have jump-started our planned expansion into mobile and online games through our April acquisition of iSports, supporting our plans to launch this exciting new platform by the third quarter of this year. This month, we have purchased the assets of the i-am TV out-of-home advertising network from Instant Access Media. We believe this acquisition will contribute to the growth and value of our network allowing us to offer powerful media and sponsorship opportunities to major national advertisers. We are especially pleased to have made both of these strategic acquisitions with equity instead of cash or debt."

So maybe you can't play trivia in England any more, but there are new opportunities to enjoy NTN Buzztime products at home.

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