RealTime IT News

Stock Splits, Analysts Send Nets on Tear

Internet stocks had risen almost 4 percent in midday trading Friday as the sector was getting a big boost from news of analyst upgrades and stock splits from several sector leaders.

Also, U.S. markets were cheering news that U.S. businesses added only 43,000 jobs in February. The lower-than-expected increase gives market watchers less reason to worry about inflationary pressures. Overall, the U.S. jobless rate stood at 4.1 percent in February, up slightly from January's 30-year low of 4 percent.

At 11:45 a.m. Eastern, internet.com's Internet Stock Index had soared 37.90, or 3.79 percent, to 1,038.95, the Nasdaq Composite had leaped 122.74 to 4,877.25 and the Dow Jones industrial average was up 226.79 to 10,391.71.

Stocks on the move included electronic commerce software maker Ariba Inc. (ARBA) which had soared 23-9/16 to 323-1/4. The company announced plans for a 2-for-1 stock split Friday.

Exodus Communications Inc. (EXDS) was up 12-15/16 to 160-3/8. The Web hosting company also announced a 2-for-1 stock split and CS First Boston initiated coverage with a "buy."

Global Crossing Ltd. (GBLX) had risen 3-7/16 to 57-13/16. The provider of voice and data communications Friday named Leo Hindery its new chief executive. Hindery replaces Bob Annunziata who will remain on the company's board.

Verio Inc. (VRIO) was up 3-7/16 to 68-1/8. The business Internet provider was initiated by CS First Boston with a "buy" rating.

EarthLink Network Inc. (ELNK) had climbed 1-3/8 to 24-11/16. CS First Boston initiated coverage with a "buy."

Broadvision Inc. (BVSN) was up 8 to 256-1/2. Donaldson Lufkin Jenrette initiated coverage of the electronic commerce firm with a "buy."

Despite its recent privacy flap, Doubleclick Inc. (DCLK) had jumped 10-1/16 to 93-1/2. ING Barings initiated coverage with a "strong buy."

Healtheon/WebMD Corp. (HLTH) was off 3-5/8 to 54-7/8. The company reported a fourth-quarter loss of $1.98 a share compared to a 34-cent loss a year ago.

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