Internets Largely Immune from IBM’s Drag on Dow, Techs

While technology and blue chip stocks were getting hit hard from a less-than-stellar earnings report from IBM Corp., a wave of good news was helping Internet stocks stay afloat.

Just before noon,’s Internet Stock Index was off 1.33, or .24 percent, to 548.93, the Nasdaq Composite had lost 20.55 to 2,767.58 and the Dow Jones industrial average had fallen 141.21 to 10,251.15. Much of that Dow drop was due to IBM, which is a Dow component.

Among the session’s winners was America Online Inc. (AOL), up 1-7/8 to 119-7/8. The company reported earnings of 15 cents a share in its first quarter, beating analysts’ 13-cent projections. The company was also benefitting from a deal with Gateway Computer Inc. (GTW).

AOL will invest $800 million in cash and stock in the direct computer retailer and the two companies also signed a distribution agreement aimed at getting more Gateway buyers to sign up with AOL.

Also, Jefferies & Co. Thursday raised its price target by $8 to $180.

Aware Inc. (AWRE) had soared 13-1/4 to 34-1/8. The maker of Digital Subscriber Line technology sealed a development and licensing deal with chip giant Intel Corp. (INTC).

Other big gainers included Ariba Inc. (ARBA) up 4-15/16 to 179-11/16, Exodus Communications (EXDS) up 2-1/16 to 69-1/4, Juniper Networks (JNPR) up 8 to 255-1/2, Inc. (MPPP) climbing 2-7/8 to 39-3/4 and Verisign Inc. (VRSN) up 7-9/16 to 112-3/4.

Corporate e-mail provider Critical Path Inc. (CPTH) was off 3/4 to 49-1/4 after announcing it will acquire ISOCOR for $287 million in stock. That company also offers a variety of messaging solutions. Inc. (STMP) was up 2-13/16 to 38-7/16 after signing a three-year marketing deal with AOL. AOL also agreed to invest in the online postage provider as part of the $56 million agreement.

Vignette Corp. (VIGN) soared 33-13/16 to 152-7/8. The provider of relationship management and Web site publishing software said its third-quarter loss shrunk to $4.8 million, or 19 cents a share, compared to $6.5 million, or 35 cents a share, a year ago. (UBID) fell 1-13/16 to 34-5/8. The online auctioneer reported a narrower-than-expected loss of $4.5 million, or 50 cents a share, in the third quarter — 3 cents lower than estimates.

Lehman Brothers Thursday upped UBid’s fiscal year 2000 estimates to 66 cents from 64.

Marimba Inc. (MRBA) had fallen 2-5/8 to 33. The company reported a loss of 1-cent a share compared to 15 cents a year ago. Analysts had forecast a 5-cent loss.

Lycos Inc. (LCOS) was off 1-29/32 to 54-7/8. Jefferies initiated coverage of the search engine and set a $73 target.

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