RealNetworks' profit drops 94%

From Times Wire Services

RealNetworks Inc., owner of the Rhapsody online music service, plans to spin off its game unit and said it might hold an initial public offering for part of the business.

The company may offer as much as 20% of the shares of the new game company before spinning off the rest, Seattle-based RealNetworks said. Revenue from games rose 26% to $108.5 million last year.

RealNetworks said first-quarter profit dropped 94% from a year earlier, when it received payments from an antitrust settlement with Microsoft Corp. Net income fell to $2.43 million, or 2 cents a share, from $40 million, or 22 cents, a year earlier. Sales rose 14% to $147.6 million.

RealNetworks shares rose 52 cents, or 8%, to $7 in extended trading after closing at $6.48, up 10 cents.

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