Net Stocks Reverse Course to End Lower
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What started out as a good session for Internet shares took an ugly turn Tuesday as the sector was dragged down by heavy losses throughout all the major indices.
Blue chips took a particularly hard hit following a profit warning from Dow component Proctor & Gamble Co. The nation's biggest maker of household products Tuesday warned second-half earnings will be dragged down by increasing competition in Latin America.
internet.com's Internet Stock Index lost 13.95, or 1.31 percent, to 1,054.01, the Nasdaq Composite erased gains of more than 70 points to close down 57.05 to 4,847.80 and the Dow Jones industrial average dove 374.47 to 9,796.03.
Network Solutions Inc. (NSOL) jumped 46-25/32 to 407-13/32 and VeriSign Inc. (VRSN) lost 47-7/16 to 200. VeriSign Tuesday bought the domain registrar for $21 billion in stock. VeriSign will issue 2.15 shares for each Network Solutions share.
Separately, Covad announced a 3-for-2 stock split effective April 3.
Register.com (RCOM) soared 27-1/4 to 77-3/8 on news that the underwriters of its initial public offering, Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown, Legg Mason Wood Walker and Thomas Weisel Partners, were exercising options to purchase more shares to cover overallotments. The group purchased 750,000 shares at $24 each.
Terayon Communications Systems Inc. (TERN) climbed 23-3/16 to 253-1/8. The company, which makes equipment that allows the Internet to be accessed over cable lines, said Tuesday it expects to beat analyst estimates for the first quarter. Analysts are forecasting a profit of a penny a share.
Askjeeves Inc. (ASKJ) fell 3-3/4 to 88-1/4 after hitting 97 earlier in the session. The search engine sealed a deal with Price Waterhouse Coopers to make its question-and-answering service part of the consulting giant's human resources outsourcing operation.