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RealTime IT News

Traders Give Back Thursday's Gains

Traders continued to find much to dislike in quarterly earnings reports on Friday, as they sold off bellwethers like America Online and erased almost all of Thursday's gains in the process.

The ISDEX fell 28 to 801, and the Nasdaq dropped 90 to 4093, both ending at the lows of the day. The S&P 500 fell 15 to 1480 and the Dow was off 110 to 10,733. Volume declined to 966 million shares on the NYSE and 1.53 billion on the Nasdaq. Declining issues led 17 to 11 on the NYSE and 2 to 1 on the Nasdaq. Priceline will report earnings before the bell on Monday.

America Online announced fourth-quarter earnings of 13 cents a share, 2 cents better than expected. Revenues came in at the lower end of expectations at $1.93 billion, and advertising revenues were also a little light. The stock fell 4 1/16 to 57 1/2.

Inktomi was one of the few companies reporting earnings to see its stock rise. But after trading as high as 135, the stock ended up 1/16 to 129 1/2. The company reported third-quarter earnings of 4 cents a share, 2 cents ahead of expectations.

Alteon Websystems crushed earnings estimates, reporting fourth-quarter earnings of 17 cents a share, 14 cents better than expected. Alteon also said it will buy Pharsalia for $221 million in stock. Alteon gained 9 7/16 to 143 3/4.

Phone.com also beat estimates handily, reporting a fourth-quarter loss of 10 cents a share, 9 cents better than expected. The stock rose 12 1/16 to 100 7/16, finishing just above resistance at 99 after trading as high as 107 1/4. SG Cowen raised revenue and earnings estimates on the stock.

Handspring reported a fourth-quarter loss of 13 cents a share, 6 cents better than expected. The stock rose 2 9/64 to 41 1/2 on positive comments by CS First Boston.

JDS Uniphase rose 6 3/8 to 134 1/2 on stronger-than-expected numbers from merger partner SDL .

But most stocks beating estimates received rough treatment, resuming a trend that began earlier this week.

Allaire fell 7 1/16 to 40 23/32 despite reporting second-quarter earnings of 7 cents a share, 2 cents better than estimates.

BroadVision fell 4 to 41 3/8 after reporting earnings of 4 cents a share, two cents better than expected. An upgrade to Strong Buy by SG Cowen didn't help the stock. CNET reported second-quarter earnings of 3 cents a share, 2 cents better than expected, but the stock declined 1 9/16 to 30 13/16. CNET was downgraded to Buy from Strong Buy by Thomas Weisel on concern that the company's acquisition of Ziff-Davis will increase its exposure to the riskier advertising model.

Media Metrix reported a second quarter loss of 10 cents a share, a penny better than estimates, but the stock slipped 3/16 to 27 13/16. Autoweb posted a second-quarter loss of 13 cents, four cents better than expected. But the stock fell 3/8 to 2 7/32 on lighter than expected revenues and a USB Piper Jaffray downgrade to Buy from Strong Buy.

Scient announced earnings of 6 cents a share, a penny ahead of estimates. But that stock too was punished, falling 8 13/32 to 54 1/32.

Ventro reported one of the few misses, and traders punished the stock as a result. The company's second-quarter gross revenue came in at $24 million, well below $30 million estimates. Analysts expressed concern about the health of the Chemdex vertical, and several analysts downgraded the company. The stock fell 6 3/8 to 14, and competitor SciQuest lost 2 19/32 to 10 19/32.

E-stamp lost 7/32 to 1 17/32 despite beating estimates by 3 cents with a 63-ce