Earnings, Positive Economic Numbers Lead to Internet Leap

A wave of solid earnings from Microsoft Corp. combined with news that the U.S. trade deficit narrowed for the first time in four months while exports set records was sending Internet stocks up sharply in mid-session.

Just before noon, internet.com’s Internet Stock Index was up 11.61, or 2.2 percent, to 539.54, the Dow Jones industrial average had climbed 109.54 to 10,314.47 and the Nasdaq Composite had jumped 58.55 to 2,746.73.

Movers included [email protected] (ATHM) which had climbed 1-5/16 to 41-15/16. The company won an open-access battle in Miami and posted third-quarter profits in line with estimates. The company reported a pro-forma loss of 1 cent a share compared to a loss of $7.8 million, or 2 cents a share, a year ago.

Razorfish (RAZF) had jumped 5-5/8 to 57-1/2. The company reported net income of $900,000, or 4 cents a share, during the third quarter. Revenue soared 400 percent to $19.1 million.

Most other leaders were higher, including Broadcom Corp. (BRCM) up 4-1/16 to 113-13/16, Broadvision Inc. (BVSN) up 8-3/4 to 166-3/4, CMGI Inc. (CMGI) up 2-1/8 to 99-1/8, Doubleclick Inc. (DCLK) had climbed 2-15/16 to 122 and eBay Inc. (EBAY) had added 7 to 140-5/8.

Also moving higher were Etoys (ETYS) up 3-3/4 to 71-3/8, Inktomi Corp. (INKT) up 3-3/16 to 117, Network Solutions Inc. (NSOL) rising 3 to 88-1/8, Priceline.com Inc. (PCLN) up 2-1/4 to 66-15/16 and Xoom.com (XMCM) up 3-7/16 to 56-1/8.

Lycos Inc. (LCOS) had added 2-1/2 to 55-1/4. Wit Capital’s Jordan Rohan initiated coverage Wednesday with an “outperform” rating.

One stock going against the grain was RealNetworks Inc. (RNWK) down 3-5/8 to 99-3/4 despite reporting better-than-expected earnings. Real earned $3 million, or 3 cents a diluted share, in the third quarter compared to $2.5 million or 4 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding one-time items, the company earned 5 cents a share, a penny above expectations.

MindSpring Enterprises Inc. (MSPG) was off 1/2 to 26-3/16. The company reported a third-quarter loss of $10.8 million, or 17 cents a share, compared with a profit of $4 million, or 8 cents a share, a year ago. MindSpring attributed the fall to increased marketing costs.

After the bell, attention will turn to America Online Inc. (AOL) which is due to report its latest earnings. Analysts are expecting a 13-cent profit.

Copper Mountain Networks Inc. (CMTN) had fallen 6-3/4 to 86 despite US Bancorp Piper Jaffray raising its revenue and earnings estimates. The company reiterated its “strong buy” and upped its price target to $110 from $100.

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