Shares in Internet Service Provider Earthlink hit a new 52-week low Thursday after the company disclosed a loss of $3.2 million, or 2 cents a share, for the third quarter.

ErathLink (Nasdaq: ELNK) dropped to $6.65 before rallying to $6.88 in late-day trading. Still, shares were down nearly 9 percent on the day.

EarthLink reported revenues of $331.3 million, up 4.5 percent from the same time period in 2005. EarthLink reported a 27 cent per share profit in the third quarter last year.

Broadband revenues from high-speed Internet customers soared to $149.4 million, an increase of 36.7 percent over 2005. The company also reported growth in its voice-over-Internet customers.

However, EarthLink disclosed that a contract with Embarq to user Embarq’s network for Internet services would not be renewed in April of next year. EarthLink did renew its contract with Time Warner Cable. EarthLink uses the networks of other providers for its high-speed service.

The ISP added 47,000 broadband customers and now has 1.9 million users, a 20 percent increase over 2005. The number of standard dialup Internet users dropped to 3.3 million, a decrease of 81,000 for the quarter. EarthLink also has lost 11.5 percent, or 116,000, of its web hosting customers since the third quarter of last year.

A major contributor to EarthLink’s financial loss was a $26.2 million cost associated with its wireless joint venture known as HELIO.

EarthLink: www.earthlink.net