Earthlink delivered some interesting financial results for 4Q08. Net income totaled $27.2 million, $0.25 per share compared to a net loss of $9.5 million, $0.08 per share, in 4Q07. For the full year, net income totaled $189.6 million, $1.72 per share, compared to a net loss of $135.1 million, $1.11 per share, in 2007. Unfortunately for Earthlink, the improvements are a result of aggressive cost cutting, not a growing business. The Internet service provider’s recorded revenue of $216.1 million in 4Q08 and $955 million for the full year. Those are decreases of 23% quarter-over-quarter and 21% year-over-year.
Earthlink is losing subscribers on virtually every front. Consumer, business, broadband, and narrowband are all in decline. Total subscribers are down by over 1 million from a year ago and over 200k from 3Q08. It’s not pretty. Despite the declines, Earthlink management is upbeat. “Our company’s financial strength and relative value in the technology industry have substantially improved over the past year. As a result, EarthLink has an expanded set of potential strategic alternatives that we are considering,” chairman and CEO Rolla P. Huff commented. Give their management team credit – they’ve managed to deliver respectable financials, despite an ugly business environment. All those dial-up accounts allow them to generate cash, but what’s their long term future?