ComScore Posts $3.3 Million Q4 Loss – Hit Hard By Nielsen Patent War

Digital audience measurement company comScore this morning reported its earnings for Q4 and full year 2011. Last quarter, comScore says it achieved record revenue of $62.6 million, a 22 percent increase compared to the fourth quarter of 2010.

However, comScore posted a net loss of $3.3 million, or a loss of $0.10 per share, for the quarter. The reason for the – unexpected – loss isn’t hard to find: the company says it includes $7.8 million in costs related to litigation with Nielsen and the related settlement.

For your background: Nielsen originally filed suit against its rival in March 2011, accusing comScore of infringing five patents it owns that relate to measuring and displaying online content.

Looking at full-year results, the impact of the patent-related litigation is even more apparent: comScore says the GAAP losses for 2011 ($15.8 million, or $0.49 per share) include costs of $16.5 million related to its litigation and subsequent settlement with Nielsen.

Costly feud indeed, though we should note Nielsen also acquired approximately $19 million in comScore restricted common stock as part of the settlement agreement.

Fourth quarter revenue was also negatively impacted by approximately $600,000 due to the effects of foreign exchange fluctuations, comScore adds.