Helio: And now for the bad news...

After a rosy picture of subscriber adds and high ARPU figures yesterday, Helio's parent company EarthLink announced that its stake in the MVNO pushed it to a loss in the fourth quarter of 2006 and took a bite out of its yearly earnings. EarthLink reported a total net loss of $24.8 million, compared with a profit of $29.2 million a year earlier. EarthLink said Helio caused it to lose $35.7 million during Q4 and nearly $85 million for the year. Helio's total losses climbed to $74 million for Q4 and $191.5 million for the year. EarthLink expects losses to continue through 2007 and into 2008. Helio's total losses will fall somewhere between $300 million and $360 million for 2007.

EarthLink and its joint venture partner SK Telecom have each committed $220 million to the Helio honey pot, but EarthLink expects to drop an additional $50 million to $100 million to keep Helio afloat in 2007.

For more on Helio's impact on EarthLink's bottom line:
- check out this company press release
- and this article from CNET