As it struggled to gain new subscribers, TiVo Inc., the maker of the popular set-top digital video recorder, on Wednesday reported narrower fourth-quarter losses in line with Wall Street expectations.
For the three months ended Jan. 31, the DVR pioneer said it lost $19.5 million, or 23 cents per share, compared to the year-ago loss of $33.7 million, or 42 cents a share.
Revenue rose slightly to $60.1 million from $59.4 million in the quarter last year.
Analysts were expecting the Alviso, Calif.-based company to post revenue of $46.4 million, according to Thomson Financial.
TiVo said it acquired 356,000 new subscribers in the fourth quarter, compared to 698,000 in the year-ago period. About 173,000 of those new accounts were from DirecTV satellite TV subscribers, instead of consumers who purchased TiVo’s standalone DVRs.
But that long-running relationship with DirecTV is set to end next year as the satellite TV company switches to a different DVR platform. And the competition continues to heat up from other cable and satellite TV operators now offering their own DVR services — usually at lower prices.
DVRs record shows onto a hard disk while allowing users to pause TV broadcasts and fast-forward past commercials.
TiVo, which now has more than 4.4 million subscribers, has been adding new features and is expanding its service beyond set-top-boxes to cell phones and portable digital players to help differentiate itself.
It also has a deal with Comcast Corp., though details of how the cable TV titan will incorporate TiVo’s technology into its services remains to be seen. A TiVo-based Comcast set-top-box is expected to released in the second half of 2006.
For the fiscal year, TiVo said it had a net loss of $34.4 million, or 41 cents a share, compared to a net loss of $79.8 million, or 99 cents a share in fiscal 2005.
The company has pegged losses throughout most of its eight-year history, though it did break even on a per-share basis in its last fiscal second quarter.