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Copyright 2004

TheStreet.com

May 25, 2004 Tuesday

From Lexis Nexis

TiVo beat estimates, thanks to a big push by DirecTV.

The company added a record 264,000 subscribers to its digital video recorder service in its latest quarter, more than triple the number it added in the year-ago period.

For the fiscal first quarter ended April 30, TiVo reported a loss of $9.1 million, or 11 cents per share, compared with the Thomson First Call estimate of a 20-cent loss. The company reported a loss of $7.9 million, or 12 cents per share, one year earlier.

Service and technology revenue — a subset of the company's revenue, followed by Wall Street, that excludes hardware sales and related rebates — amounted to $25.2 million, ahead of the company's early March guidance in the range of $23 million to $24.2 million. The year-ago revenue figure was $16.1 million.

TiVo's shares, which rose 16 cents in daytime trading to close at $7.56, gave up 14 cents in after-hours trading once results had been announced.

Key to the quarter's results, said TiVo, was new business from satellite operator DirecTV, which markets TiVo-equipped boxes to subscribers. DirecTV, which came under the control of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. in December, accounted for 196,000 of the quarterly additions, or 73 percent.

The DirecTV additions amounted to nearly five times the DirecTV subscribers added one year earlier. The 68,000 TiVo service subscriptions distinct from DirecTV represented an 84 percent increase from the corresponding figure one year earlier.

The DirecTV activations, said TiVo, were driven by increased product availability, the $99 customer price of the DirecTV DVR with TiVo, and promotional programs directed at DirecTV's subscriber base.

"Today, with nearly 900,000 subscribers with TiVo, DirecTV is aggressively marketing the TiVo service as a key differentiator for subscriber retention and revenue growth," TiVo CEO Mike Ramsay said in a statement. DirecTV recently began shipping a high definition television DVR with TiVo, the company noted.

Demand for TiVo DVRs at retail also was stronger than expected, TiVo said.

The company reiterated guidance for fiscal 2005 and supplied new guidance for the fiscal second quarter ending July 31. Service and technology revenue will be in the range of $25 million to $25.8 million, compared with the First Call estimate of $26 million.

The operating loss in the second quarter will be in the range of $19 million to $21 million, says TiVo, compared with the median analyst forecast of $17 million.

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