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MindSpring's Profits Leap

Internet provider Mindspring Enterprises Inc. late Tuesday posted record third-quarter profits thanks in part to a 16 percent jump in subscribers during the period.

The Atlanta-based ISP earned $3.98 million, or 15 cents a share. Those results soundly beat analysts' estimates of 11 cents a share and represent a turnaround from a year ago when the company lost $627,000 or 3 cents a share.

Revenue more than doubled to $28.7 million from just under $14 million last year.

MindSpring added 62,000 subscribers in the quarter, bringing their total base to about 455,000. At the end of the quarter a year ago, the company reported 224,000 customers.

Charles Brewer, MindSpring's chairman and chief executive officer, said the company has established a solid foundation that should enable the company to continue growing.

"We plan to continue to use our well-tuned organization and strong balance sheet to increase our membership while maintaining our high level of service and support," he said.

Earlier this month, MindSpring completed its acquisition of Internet provider SPRYNET. The company agreed to pay between $35 million and $45 million, depending on the number of current SPRYNET customers who remain with MindSpring. MindSpring expects to retain at least 140,000 of the approximately 180,000 SPRYNET customers in the United States and Canada.



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