RealTime IT News

Internets Overcome Amazon Disappointment

Despite a worse-than-expected earnings report from Amazon.com, Internet shares were able to end the day on the upside.

internet.com's Internet Stock Index gained 10.64, or 2.01 percent, to 549.64, the Nasdaq Composite rose 71.90 to 2,874.42 and the Dow Jones industrial average jumped 228.91 to 10,623.91.

Among Internets, the big loser was Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) which had tumbled 4-13/16 to 71-1/8. The Internet retail giant late Wednesday said its third-quarter loss increased to 59 cents a share compared to 15 cents a year ago. The company attributed the lower results to increased ad and technology spending. Gross profit margins declined from 21.5% in the second quarter to 18.8%.

As a result, Merrill Lynch cut its intermediate rating to "accumulate" from "buy." CS First Boston also increased its fiscal 1999 loss estimates to $356 million from $311 million.

However, not all analysts were negative on the stock. Mitchell Bartlett, who follows the stock for Dain Rauscher Wessels is raising his revenue estimates for the e-tail giant.

barnesandnoble.com (BNBN) was up 5/16 to 20. The company reported a third-quarter loss of 15 cents a share, down from a 16-cent loss in the same period a year ago. First Call estimates called for a 23 cent loss.

Also trading lower was eBay Inc. (EBAY) off 2-1/2 to 136-3/16. The online auctioneer's sales dropped to $96 per user in the third quarter, down from $150 a year ago. That came despite a 509 percent hike in registered users.

Internet Capital Group Inc. (ICGE) ended up 9 to 122-1/2. The Internet holding company Thursday took a $50 million stake in privately-held eMerge Interactive Inc. eMerge, which helps farmers sell cattle over the Web, is the company's largest purchase to date.

America Online Inc. (AOL) was up 2-3/4 to 122-3/8. The company voted to approve a proposal to expand the number of common shares outstanding to 6 billion, so as to allow for a possible stock split as well as fund acquisitions.

Network Solutions (NSOL) rose 8-1/4 to 102-1/4. The company reported net income of 21 cents per share, which compared to 9 cents per share in the same quarter a year ago. First Call estimates had 18 cents.

Paradyne Networks Inc. (PDYN) gained 1-1/16 to 32-3/4. The high-speed networking equipment maker reported third-quarter earnings of 6 cents, up from a loss of a penny a year ago.

Verio Inc. (VRIO) closed off 1/8 to 36-1/8. The company, which hosts Web sites and provides Internet access to businesses, reported a loss of 61 cents a share in the third quarter, up from 52 cents a year ago. Revenue nearly doubled, however.

Online broker Ameritrade Holding Corp. (AMTD) closed off 3/8 to 16-5/8. The company reported a fourth-quarter loss of 5 cents a share, in line with expectations. However, it was lower than year-ago results when the company earned 3 cents a share.

Interactive ad company Modem Media Poppe Tyson (MMPT) jumped 7 to 69-1/2 after the company reported earnings of 11 cents a share in the third quarter compared to a 15-cent loss a year ago. Those results were much higher than forecasts calling for a 4-cent profit.

Finally, F5 Networks (FFIV) was off 3 to 134 after surging more than 37 points on Wednesday. The company, whose products help Web sites manage traffic, reported a net income of $2.3 million, or 11 cents a share in its fiscal fourth quarter. That beat expectations of a 5-cent profit.

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