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Earnings Brief: Better Than Expected

Internet companies first quarter results continue have generally bested analysts expectations. Yesterday, Juniper Networks (JNPR) reported income of $8.1 million, or $0.05 per share after the market close. Analysts had expected the infrastructure play to earn only $0.03 per share. Revenues rose to $63.9 million in the quarter, a sequential increase of 41% over $45.4 million, and representing year-over-year revenue growth of 536%.

Ameritrade (AMTD) was off 1-1/16 to 17-7/16 in Thursday's trading despite reporting fiscal second-quarter profits of $0.02 a share, much better than estimates of a $0.04 loss. The company also added 319,000 accounts in the quarter, 47% more than the previous quarter. Revenue amounted to $170.3 million, signifying 30 percent sequential and 166 percent year-over-year revenue growth.

Webvan Group (WBVN) reported a net loss of $38.7 million, or 12 cents per share, beating analyst estimates by a penny. The company's top line increased 79% (sequentially) to $16.3 million.

Wednesday, Ariba (ARBA), Redback Networks (RBAK), and E*Trade (EGRP) all reported strong numbers as well.

Business-to-business e-commerce market maker Ariba delivered on its promise -- and then some -- in its earnings call. Earlier, the company announced that its earnings would be "significantly higher than analyst expectations because of better-than-expected demand for its business-to-business software and services." The company predicted revenues would fall in the range of $36-$38 million, which would have represented a sequential increase of around 60 percent.

Instead, Ariba reported second quarter revenues of $40 million, a sequential increase of 70 percent from last quarter's $23.5 million. The company lost $11.5 million, or $0.06 per share, versus the consensus estimate, which called for a loss of $0.08 per share. Ariba CFO Edward P. Kinsey noted the acceleration of Ariba's network effect during the quarter in a conference call. Indeed, sequential growth of 70 percent is well above the company's 40 percent average to date.

Merrill Lynch raised its rating on shares of Ariba from near-term "accumulate" to a near-term "buy," but the shares traded slightly lower in late Wednesday trading despite the positive news. Ariba is now 61% off of its 52-week high (183-5/16).

Redback Networks, a provider of high-speed access infrastructure solutions, "beat the street" as well. The company announced earnings of $5.6 million, or $0.05 per share, for its second straight profitable quarter. The consensus estimate was $0.03 per share. Redback announced revenues of $34.2 million for a sequential increase of 32%.

E*Trade's net loss was $23.2, or $0.08 per share for its second fiscal quarter half of what analysts had expected. In addition, E*Trade added 603,000 new accounts in the quarter, up from last quarter's 330,000 additional accounts. The online financial service provider had revenues of $407.4 million, a year-over-year increase of 152%.

Check Point Software (CHKP) reported net income of $34.9 million, or $0.40 per share, beating the $0.35 per share consensus estimate. $79