Earnings Provide Another Net Boost

Internet stocks were escaping the downturn plaguing blue chips as investors applauded several reports of better-than-expected earnings.

At noon Eastern, internet.com’s Internet Stock Index had gained 8.19, or 1.15 percent, to 718.47, the Nasdaq Composite was up 47.01 to 3,677.10 and the Dow Jones industrial average was off 121.31 to 10,824.19.

Dragging down the Dow was a higher-than-expected rise in the Employment Cost Index, as companies reported labor costs had reached levels not seen in 10 years.

One of the biggest Internet advancers was Macromedia (MACR), vaulting 13-13/16 to 75-1/16. The maker of multimedia software reported pro-forma earnings of 22 cents a share in the fourth quarter, 6 cents better than expected.

Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) was off 3/4 to 52-3/4. The e-tail giant late Wednesday reported a loss of 35 cents a share in its latest quarter, a penny better than expected. Revenues jumped 95 percent to $574 million.

Prudential Securities’ Mark Rowen upgraded the stock to “strong buy” from “hold,” trimming his 2000 loss estimates by a penny to $1.24. He also lowered his 2001 loss projections to 58 cents from 80.

Broadvision Inc. (BVSN) had jumped 5-1/2 to 37-7/8. The e-commerce applications company late Wednesday reported a first-quarter income of 4 cents a share, 2 cents better than estimates. Also, Legg Mason Wood Walker raised the stock to “buy” from “outperform.”

Network Solutions Inc. (NSOL) was up 11-1/2 to 126-7/8. The domain registrar reported a first-quarter profit of 20 cents a share, 6 cents better than expected.

VerticalNet (VERT) had gained 4 to 50. The company posted a first-quarter loss of 16 cents a share, 9 cents better than expected.

TheStreet.com (TSCM) was up 3/16 to 6-1/4. The online financial publisher Thursday purchased BiGFiSH Management Inc., a producer of converences. The company plans to create a series of investment conferences using TheStreet.com brand.

BackWeb Technologies (BWEB) was down 1-1/16 to 18-1/2. The company posted a first-quarter loss of 5 cents a share, a penny better than expected.

Beyond.com Corp. (BYND) had tumbled 5/16 to 2-3/16. The online software retailer reported a first-quarter loss of 55 cents a share, 9 cents higher than expected.

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