On Tuesday, IDT (NYSE:IDT) reported its fourth-quarter and fiscal full-year earnings. This semi-conglomerate does lots of things, it seems -- except make money. From fiscal 1994 to fiscal 2006, IDT earned a profit from operations in only one year, 1999. It's a true testament to the equity markets' imagination that IDT remains an ongoing concern.

In its most recent earnings statement, IDT's full-year revenues, which exclude the IDT Entertainment segment, were essentially flat at $2.2 billion. Fourth-quarter revenues were up $8 million, or 1.5%. Operating losses expanded from $139.8 million in fiscal 2005 to $220.8 million in fiscal 2006. Fourth-quarter operating losses improved from $57 million to $44 million. As you would guess, returns on equity and capital were negative.

One of the only bright spots has been the IDT Entertainment segment, which actually made money. However, it was just sold to Liberty Media Interactive (NASDAQ:LINTA). Meanwhile, Net2Phone, which IDT took public in 1999, was bought back. It's now a wholly owned subsidiary in the IDT Telecom segment.

Basically, it looks like business as usual. How does this company, which can't turn a profit from operations, remain an ongoing entity? I'm guessing that IDT, which began life as a telecom, is surviving as a venture capitalist. IDT's day job of selling prepaid phone cards to companies such as Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) is now just an attempt to support the development of new businesses as a part of the IDT Capital operations. Management must have gotten the idea after its initial success with Net2Phone's IPO and the latest divestiture of IDT Entertainment; these have been the only real sources of positive cash flow for the company.

Management is pinning its hopes on selling brochure racks found in airport lounges, utility and natural gas services in New York, AM radio in Washington D.C., and an ethnic grocery-brands business based on IDT's recent purchase of Vitarroz. Frankly, I don't see these new ventures offering much hope for the future.

To buy this stock, you must have serious conviction that management can incubate these new business lines into profitable divestitures or IPOs before the company bleeds to death from continued operations. Me? I'm amazed IDT has lasted this long.

Related Foolishness:

Wal-Mart is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick . Find more top-shelf stocks at bargain-basement prices when you try Inside Value free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Matthew Crews welcomes your feedback -- really! He does not have a financial position in any stock mentioned. The Fool has a disclosure policy.