RealTime IT News

Earnings Disappointment Takes Down Internets

Internet stocks finished lower Wednesday as investors continued to express worry over corporate earnings, dragging down both the ISDEX and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite.

Internet bellwether eBay Inc. started the downward momentum after disappointing Wall Street.

internet.com's Internet Stock Index fell 12.66, or 2.30 percent, to 538.79, the Nasdaq Composite ended off 8.98 to 2,802.49 and the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 92.76 to 10,394.89.

eBay (EBAY) plunged 13-5/16 to 138-11/16, as the company late Tuesday reported a third-quarter profit of $1.35 million, or 1 cent a share, up from $461,000, or break-even, a year ago. Before one-time charges, the company earned 2 cents a share, in line with analysts' estimates.

A number of analysts made moves following the announcement. First Union cut its fiscal 2000 estimates to 30 cents a share from 40, Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown downgraded eBay from "buy" to "market outperform," and Morgan Stanley reiterated its "outperform" on eBay.

Morgan's Mary Meeker said Wednesday dips in several Internet leaders, including America Online Inc. (AOL), Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO), Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) and eBay represent possible buying opportunities.

Just after the closing bell, Amazon.com reported a 26-cent loss for its latest quarter, 2 cents better than analysts had forecast. Those results compare with an 8-cent loss during the quarter a year ago. Amazon closed down 5-5/16 to 75-15/16.

America Online was up 2-5/8 to 119-3/8 and Yahoo! slumped 5 to 174-3/16.

What's more, James Barksdale, a director of AOL, announced he would sell 425,000 shares. The Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, Miles Gilburne, filed his intentions to sell 200,000 shares.

Exodus (EXDS) ended up 1/8 to 77-1/4. The hosting company announced that it will purchase privately-held Service Metrics for $280. The company develops technology to monitor the performance of Web sites.

Quest Software (QSFT) climbed 1-1/2 to 67-3/8. The company reported that it earned 2 cents per share, which was one penny better than First Call estimates.

Other leaders falling included BroadVision Inc. (BVSN), off 3-1/16 to 59-15/16, CMGI Inc. (CMGI) had fallen 1/4 to 103-5/16, Doubleclick Inc. (DCLK) had tumbled 3 to 125, Etoys Inc. (ETYS) was off 4-5/8 to 73-3/16 and Inktomi Corp. (INKT) had lost 7-1/8 to 95-5/8.

Lycos Inc. (LCOS) was off 3/4 to 53-1/4. CS First Boston reiterated its buy on the stock Wednesday.

Talk.com (TALK) fell 3/4 to 16. The company reported a profit of 23 cents a share, which was 1 penny better than the First Call estimates. The company provides services for long-distance Net telephony.

StarMedia Network (STRM) dropped 1-7/8 to 27-5/8. The company, which is the largest Latin American portal, had a loss of 43 cents a share. This beat the First Call estimates by 3 cents.

F5 Networks (FFIV) shot up 37-7/8 to 137. The company reported a profit of 11 cents a share, which beat First Call estimates by 16 cents. The company develops Net traffic software.

One day after announcing its merger with Interactive Pictures, bamboo.com Inc. (BAMB) was up 7/8 to 17-7/8. Dain Rauscher Wessels downgraded the stock Wednesday to "neutral" from "buy."

ZDNet ( ZDZ) was down 15/16 to 20-1/16. The company lost 1 cent per share last quarter, which met First Call expectations.

On the IPO front, InterTrust Technologies Inc. (ITRU) surged 36-3/8 to 54-3/8. The company develops technology to copyprotect intellectual property on the Web. The lead underwriter was CS First Boston.

JNI Corp. (JNIC) soared 23 to 42. The company is a leading provider of storage area network (SAN) technology. The lead underwriter was Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette.

Finally, Akamai raised the price range of its IPO again, from $16-$18 to $21-$23. The company provides technology to speed-up the delivery of online content. The lead underwriter is Morgan Stanley.

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