Internets Overcome Amazon Disappointment

Despite a worse-than-expected earnings report from Amazon.com, Internet
shares were able to end the day on the upside.

internet.com’s Internet Stock Index gained 10.64, or 2.01 percent, to
549.64, the Nasdaq Composite rose 71.90 to 2,874.42 and the Dow Jones
industrial average jumped 228.91 to 10,623.91.

Among Internets, the big loser was Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN)
which had tumbled 4-13/16 to 71-1/8. The Internet retail giant late
Wednesday said its third-quarter loss increased to 59 cents a share
compared to 15 cents a year ago. The company attributed the lower results
to increased ad and technology spending. Gross profit margins declined from
21.5% in the second quarter to 18.8%.

As a result, Merrill Lynch cut its intermediate rating to “accumulate” from
“buy.” CS First Boston also increased its fiscal 1999 loss estimates to
$356 million from $311 million.

However, not all analysts were negative on the stock. Mitchell Bartlett, who follows the stock for Dain Rauscher Wessels is raising his revenue estimates for the e-tail giant.

barnesandnoble.com (BNBN)
was up 5/16 to 20. The company reported a third-quarter loss of 15
cents a share, down from a 16-cent loss in the same period a year ago.
First Call estimates called for a 23 cent loss.

Also trading lower was eBay Inc. (EBAY)
off 2-1/2 to 136-3/16. The online auctioneer’s sales dropped to $96
per user in the third quarter, down from $150 a year ago. That came despite
a 509 percent hike in registered users.

Internet Capital Group Inc. (ICGE)
ended up 9 to 122-1/2. The Internet holding company Thursday took a $50
million stake in privately-held eMerge Interactive Inc. eMerge, which helps
farmers sell cattle over the Web, is the company’s largest purchase to
date.

America Online Inc. (AOL)
was up 2-3/4 to 122-3/8. The company voted to approve a proposal to expand
the number of common shares outstanding to 6 billion, so as to allow for a
possible stock split as well as fund acquisitions.

Network Solutions (NSOL)
rose 8-1/4 to 102-1/4. The company reported net income of 21 cents
per share, which compared to 9 cents per share in the same quarter a year
ago. First Call estimates had 18 cents.

Paradyne Networks Inc. (PDYN)
gained 1-1/16 to 32-3/4. The high-speed networking equipment maker
reported third-quarter earnings of 6 cents, up from a loss of a penny a
year ago.

Verio Inc. (VRIO)
closed off 1/8 to 36-1/8. The company, which hosts Web sites and provides
Internet access to businesses, reported a loss of 61 cents a share in the
third quarter, up from 52 cents a year ago. Revenue nearly doubled,
however.

Online broker Ameritrade Holding
Corp.
(AMTD)
closed off 3/8 to 16-5/8. The company reported a fourth-quarter loss of 5
cents a share, in line with expectations. However, it was lower than
year-ago results when the company earned 3 cents a share.

Interactive ad company Modem Media Poppe Tyson (MMPT)
jumped 7 to 69-1/2 after the company reported earnings of 11 cents
a share in the third quarter compared to a 15-cent loss a year ago. Those
results were much higher than forecasts calling for a 4-cent profit.

Finally, F5 Networks (FFIV)
was off 3 to 134 after surging more than 37 points on Wednesday. The
company, whose products help Web sites manage traffic, reported a net
income of $2.3 million, or 11 cents a share in its fiscal fourth quarter.
That beat expectations of a 5-cent profit.


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