ExactTarget loss widens as revenue grows

ExactTarget took an $11.6 million loss in the first quarter, more than double the $4.7 million loss it took in the same period a year ago, the company announced Thursday.

The company's stock prices sank Friday morning in the wake of the announcement.

The Indianapolis-based digital marketer reported revenue of $88.9 million, a 39-percent increase over the previous year's period, but continued to pour funding into its growth.

“Our first quarter revenue growth was outstanding … making us one of the fastest-growing software-as-service companies in the world,” Chairman and CEO Scott Dorsey said in a prepared statement.

But operating costs tied to the company’s growth have consistently eaten up profits.

After accounting for $32.2 million in revenue costs, ExactTarget spent almost as much as its sales gain, $23.7 million, on research and development, sales and marketing, and general and administrative expenses, pushing earnings into the red.

ExactTarget stock has hovered in the low-20-dollar range since the company’s March 2012 initial public offering. Shares closed a $21.97 Thursday, but fell by 9 percent Friday morning, to $20.03.

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