Why Shares In Blinkx Plc Are Sliding

blinkx.2So far this year, Blinkx (LSE: BLNX) shares have lost 83% of their value.

When markets opened this morning, the troubled firm’s shares fell by another 12%, thanks to a dire trading update.

Blinkx reported first-half revenues of between $102 and $104m, down from $112m for the same period last year, but substantially below expectations — this is meant to be a growth company, remember.

However, the worst news was in the profit department: there isn’t any.

Blinkx expects to report adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of “approximately break-even” for the first half of this year.

That’s terrible: adjusted EBITDA is just about the most flexible measure of profitability a company can use, and Blinkx still can’t conjure up a positive number.

To put this in context, Blinkx reported adjusted EBITDA of $18m for the first half of last year, and $22m for the second half, suggesting to me that the company’s business model has collapsed during the first half of this year.

It gets worse

Not only has Blinkx failed to turn a profit on more than $100m of revenue, it’s also burning through its cash pile, too.

At the end of the company’s last financial year, in March, Blinkx had cash of $126m. Six months later, that’s fallen to $115m, although today’s statement didn’t provide any clues as to what the money has been spent on.

When this missing cash is added to the firm’s revenues, Blinkx appears to have spent around $113m so far this year, but has nothing to show for it.

CEO: ‘transitional’ period

Of course, Blinkx chief executive S. Brian Mukherjee attempted to put a positive spin on today’s figures, telling investors that the first half had been “transitional”:

“We are well positioned with high-growth advertising formats that are expected to contribute an increasing percentage of revenues.”

Blinkx claims to have seen ‘month-on-month’ growth since July, but Mr Mukherjee’s vague remarks, and his failure to mention profit, suggest to me that the company is simply burning cash, rather than generating returns for investors.

Down and out?

Blinkx has never recovered from the impact of the allegations made by Harvard professor Ben Edelman.

In my view, today’s trading suggests that another nail has been placed in the coffin of this troubled advertising firm.

Despite the firm’s cash pile, I think Blinkx is now uninvestable, as its original business model appears to have failed — and the company has not yet explained how it will be replaced.

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Roland Head has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.