Strong Earnings Minimize Net Losses

Technology shares were running into trouble at midday Wednesday as investors showed concern over quarterly earnings. However, strong results from two Internet leaders were cushioning the impact on that sector.

At 11:45 a.m. Eastern,’s Internet Stock Index was off 5.08, or .58 percent, to 866.94, the Nasdaq Composite had lost 42.49 to 4,124.92 and the Dow Jones industrial average was up 35.67 to 11,065.56.

Big climbers included eBay Inc. (EBAY), up 12-1/16 to 149-9/16. The online auctioneer Tuesday reported fourth-quarter pro-forma earnings of 4 cents, 2 cents higher than analysts had forecast.

The good news led Robertson Stephens to reiterate its “buy” rating. Donaldson Lufkin Jenrette also reiterated its “buy” and said the stock should be a core part of an Internet investor’s portfolio.

Real Networks Inc. (RNWK) had jumped 17-1/8 to 175. The streaming media company Tuesday reported earnings of $6.1 million, or 7 cents a share. That’s 2 cents higher than forecasts.

Also, the company late Tuesday purchased Internet software firm NetZip and announced a 2-for-1 stock split.

That prompted DLJ to raise its six to 12-month price target to $280 from $150.

Among other leaders, climbers included Healtheon/WebMD Corp. (HLTH), up 4-3/4 to 73-1/4 and Network Solutions Inc. (NSOL) was up 13 to 256.

Losers included Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO), off 13-1/8 to 332-7/16, Verisign Inc. (VRSN) was off 5-7/8 to 191, Inc. (INSP) was down 9 to 140-1/2 and Check Point Software Technologies (CHKP) had lost 3-3/8 to 276.

Commerce One Inc. (CMRC) was off 11-1/8 to 188-1/2. The electronic commerce software provider reported a fourth-quarter loss of 40 cents a share, almost double the year-ago figure. Analysts had only forecast a 15-cent loss.

F5 Networks (FFIV) had plunged 12-1/2 to 121, despite reporting better-than-expected quarterly results. The company posted a fiscal first-quarter profit of $4.2 million, or 18 cents a share — 4 cents better than expected.

E-Stamp Corp. (ESTM) had gained 1-5/16 to 19-7/16. The company Wednesday announced plans to market technology that will allow event tickets to be printed using standard equipment. Inc. (PCLN) was up 13/16 to 63-3/4. The company Wednesday announced an alliance with Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. to take its “name-your-price” concept to Asia.

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