Blockbuster Inc. reported today (March 9) that total revenues for the fourth quarter increased 6.3% to $1.72 billion, compared to $1.62 billion in the same period the year before. The company posted a

Blockbuster Inc. reported today (March 9) that total revenues for the fourth quarter increased 6.3% to $1.72 billion, compared to $1.62 billion in the same period the year before. The company posted a profit of $900,000, vs. a year-earlier loss of $1.19 billion.

Fourth-quarter rental revenue was flat at $1.15 billion.

Comparable-store revenues were flat for the quarter; comp-store rental revenues decreased 2.9%.

Full-year 2004 revenues increased 2.4% to $6.05 billion. Net loss for 2004 totaled $1.26 billion, or $6.93 per share, compared with a net loss for 2003 of $983.9 million, or $5.46 per share.

Looking ahead, Blockbuster says the $250 million-$300 million it would have generated from late fees in 2005 will be "offset by growth in revenues resulting from increased store traffic, less promotional and marketing activity and increased focus on operating expense management." The company's "no late fees" program launched Jan. 1.

Blockbuster says its Blockbuster Online service -- launched last summer -- has more than 750,000 subscribers. The company aims to have more than 2 million by the end of the first quarter of 2006 and says it will spend $70 million this year to accelerate subscriber growth.

Meanwhile, Blockbuster has extended the deadline of its hostile acquisition bid for Hollywood Entertainment. The $1.3 billion offer, including payment of $14.50 in cash and stock per Hollywood share, is now extended almost two weeks to March 24. The Federal Trade Commission has blocked the proposed deal, saying it needs more information from Blockbuster.

Blockbuster stock was trading today up 72 cents at $9.44.