May 06--Revenue at Charleston-based software firm Benefitfocus Inc. jumped 29 percent in the first quarter while its loss widened, reflecting its focus on sales growth over profits.
The Daniel Island company reported earnings after the U.S. stock market closed Monday.
Revenue increased to $30.7 million from the January-March period last year, Benefitfocus said. The net loss for the quarter more than doubled to $12.4 million from $5.6 million in the first three months of 2013.
Benefitfocus is a fast-growing provider of online workplace benefits software. Big insurance carriers and more than 418 large employers use its one-stop, cloud-based platform to shop for, enroll in and manage their health-care policies and other job perks.
"Benefitfocus delivered a strong start to 2014 with first quarter financial results that were above the high end of our guidance on both the top and bottom line," CEO Shawn Jenkins said in a statement. "There is tremendous market activity in both the insurance carrier and employer market as customers recognize that the changing benefits landscape requires a fundamentally different approach that empowers employees to make informed decisions about the benefits package that best fits their unique circumstances."
The company, which went public in 2013, also provided financial guidance for this year. It expects an annual net loss for 2014 of $59 million to $63 million on sales of $130.6 million to $134.6 million.
Benefitfocus said it plans to introduce new functions for its software products at its annual "One Place" conference this week in Charleston.
The company's shares have been falling in recent months after peaking at $77. They dropped nearly 7 percent Monday, or $2.39, to close at $32.60, and they were slightly lower in after-hours trading.
Contact John McDermott at 937-5572.
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