RealTime IT News

Internets End Up on As Broader Markets Stage Recovery

A negative earnings report hit IBM Corp. this morning and the rest of the blue chips - which did manage to improve somewhat by the end of the day. Internet stocks were relatively unaffected and managed to finish on the plus side.

internet.com's Internet Stock Index rose 5.50, or 1 percent, to 555.76, the Nasdaq Composite was up 15.36 to 2,803.49 and the Dow Jones industrial average had fallen 96.57 to 10,295.79. Much of that Dow drop was due to IBM, which is a Dow component.

Among the session's winners was America Online Inc. (AOL), up 6-1/16 to 124-1/16. The company reported earnings of 15 cents a share in its first quarter, beating analysts' 13-cent projections. The company also announced a major deal with Gateway Computer Inc. (GTW).

AOL will invest $800 million in cash and stock in the direct computer retailer and the two companies also signed a distribution agreement aimed at getting more Gateway buyers to sign up with AOL.

Also, Jefferies & Co. Thursday raised its price target by $8 to $180 for AOL.

Wit Capital (WITC) fell 5/16 to 16-11/16. The company reported a loss of 8 cents per share in it latest quarter, which compares to a loss of 33 cents in the same quarter a year ago. The First call estimate was for a loss of 13 cents.

PurchasePro.com (PPRO) rose 2-3/8 to 38. The company signed a marketing deal with Office Depot to use the PurchasePro.com business-to-business platform.

Aware Inc. (AWRE) had soared 11-5/8 to 34-1/2. The maker of Digital Subscriber Line technology sealed a development and licensing deal with chip giant Intel Corp. (INTC) .

Other big gainers included CNET (CNET) up 3-1/16 to 53-9/16, Exodus Communications (EXDS) up 6-5/16 to 73-1/2, Juniper Networks (JNPR) up 11-1/4 to 258-3/2, MP3.com Inc. (MPPP) climbing 1-9/16 to 38-7/16 and Verisign Inc. (VRSN) up 8-7/16 to 113-5/8.

E-Loan (EELN) was down 7/8 to 18-7/16. The company purchased Flexemortgage.com, which is a major source for flexible mortgages in the UK.

Corporate e-mail provider Critical Path Inc. (CPTH) was off 3 to 47 after announcing it will acquire ISOCOR for $287 million in stock. That company also offers a variety of messaging solutions.

Scient (SCNT) was down 1/4 to 99-1/2. The company, which is a service provider for e-commerce sites, reported a loss of 4 cents per share, comparedto an 11 cent loss in the year ago quarter. The results were in line with First Call estimates.

Stamps.com Inc. (STMP) was up 1-1/2 to 37-1/8 after signing a three-year marketing deal with AOL. AOL also agreed to invest in the online postage provider as part of the $56 million agreement.

Vignette Corp. (VIGN) soared 38-3/4 to 157-13/16. The provider of relationship management and Web site publishing software said its third-quarter loss shrunk to $4.8 million, or 19 cents a share, compared to $6.5 million, or 35 cents a share, a year ago.

Marimba Inc. (MRBA) had fallen 2-3/4 to 32-7/8. The company reported a loss of 1-cent a share compared to 15 cents a year ago. Analysts had forecast a 5-cent loss.

Lycos Inc. (LCOS) was off 1-7/32 to 55-9/16. Jefferies initiated coverage of the search engine and set a $73 target.

On the IPO front, Aether Systems Inc. (AETH) surged 32-7/16 to 48-7/16. The company develops wireless technology for the financial industry. The IPO was priced at $16 per share and the lead underwriter was Merrill Lynch.

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