Akamai Soars as Nasdaq Sets New Record

Investors eagerly snapped up shares of Akamai Technologies Inc. on its debut Friday as solid economic data buoyed all the major indices to end the week on a high note. It wasn’t all good news, however, as investors did punish several stocks which released disappointing earnings.

Akamai’s debut came after a report which said sales of new single-family homes fell 12.8 percent in September to 811,000 units. The biggest slowdown in almost two years, the trend was felt across the country. The report gave markets another indication that inflation is in check and interest rates will stay pat.

internet.com’s Internet Stock Index rose 13.15, or 2.39 percent, to 562.72, the Nasdaq Composite jumped 91.22 to a record 2,966.44 and the Dow Jones industrial average rose 107.33 to 10,729.86.

Akamai (AKAM) quadrupled on its first day of trading. The company, whose software is used by large Web publishers to optimize content delivery, soared 119-3/16 to 145-3/16. Akamai sold 9 million shares at $26 each Thursday, raising $234 million. Lead underwriter was Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co.

BroadVision Inc. (BVSN) jumped 6-5/8 to 73. The provider of electronic commerce applications climbed after splitting 3-for-1 earlier this week. The company also plans to begin selling its stock on the German market in the near future.

Priceline.com Inc. (PCLN) lost 7-5/8 to 60-1/4. The company Thursday reported a third-quarter loss of $11.9 million, or 8 cents a share, 2 cents better than expected. Priceline attributed the steeper losses to a warrant issued to Continental Airlines Inc. (CAI).

eToys Inc. (ETYS) plunged 10-7/8 to 59-3/4. The company reported a fiscal second-quarter loss of $32.08 million, or 27 cents a share. While it was better than the 28 cents analysts had forecast, it was much worse than the year-ago quarter when the company lost $3.2 million, or 4 cents a share. Also, Goldman Sachs, which managed its initial public offering, said Friday it will release lock-up restrictions on 10 percent of eToys’ stock making it available for sale Tuesday. The remaining shares will be available Nov. 16.

In its last quarter as an independent company, Infoseek Corp. (SEEK) reported a fiscal fourth-quarter loss of $21.5 million, or 34 cents a diluted share, much better than the 42-cent loss analysts had expected. That sent Infoseek shares up 2-13/16 to 31-11/16.

E-Loan (EELN) lost 11/16 to 20-9/16 after the company reported better-than-expected third quarter results. E-Loan lost $20.2 million, or 33 cents a share, a penny better than estimates. The company said mortgage applications rose 38 percent in the quarter.

Go2Net Inc. (GNET) jumped 11-1/4 to 70-3/8 after the Internet directory reported pro-forma fourth-quarter earnings of 12 cents a share, 6 cents better than estimates.

The company also signed a deal with Net2Phone (NTOP) to integrate that company’s PC-to-phone products throughout its network. The two will create a new unified messaging center on Go2Net that will allow users to send and receive voice mail, e-mail, faxes and phone calls.

America Online Inc. (AOL) gained 2-7/8 to 129-3/8. The company Thursday announced it will split its stock 2-for-1 on Nov. 22. Other leaders moving higher were Juniper Networks (JNPR) up 10-5/8 to 275-5/8, Checkpoint Software (CHKP) up 11-1/8 to 115-11/16, Prodigy Communications (PRGY) gained 2-15/16 to 25-3/8, Real Networks Inc. (RNWK) climbed 8-5/16 to 109-11/16 and Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) gained 4-1/16 to 179-1/16.

Infospace.com (INSP) climbed 5-5/8 to 55-5/8. The company reported earnings of $3.1 million, or 6 cents a share, in the third quarter excluding one-time charges. That was much better than the 3-cent loss analysts had expected.

TheStreet.com (TSCM) gained 15/16 to 19-15/16. The online financial Web site reported a third-quarter loss of $7.2 million, or 29 cents a share, compared to a loss of $3.2 million, or 33 cents a share, last year. Analysts had expected a 32-cent loss.

Xoom.com Inc. (XMCM) added 1 to 62-1/2. The company lost $3 million, or 15 cents a share in the quarter, compared to a loss of $2.2 million, or 25 cents a share, a year ago.

Metricom Inc. (MCOM) soared 7-13/16 to 43-15/16 after the wireless Internet provider was rated a “buy” by Lehman Brothers’ John Bensche who initiated coverage Friday. Bensche set a $76 target.

Razorfish Inc. (RAZF) added 1-11/16 to 73-3/4. Volpe Brown & Whelan’s David Sturtz initiated coverage of the Web site designer with a “buy” rating. He expects the stock to hit $98 price in the next year.

Verio Inc. (VRIO) added 1-3/16 to 37-5/16 after Lori Alexander of Preferred Capital Markets reiterated her “strong buy” rating. Alexander set a $58 price target.

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