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Sales Quadruple at PortalPlayer

First-quarter sales at PortalPlayer (PLAY) more than quadrupled, helping the company turn a year-ago loss into a profit, blowing through the Street's earnings estimates in the process.

The company, which provides components for Apple's (AAPL) hard drive-based iPods, also offered better-than-expected guidance for its current quarter.

Investors cheered the report, sending the company's stock up sharply after the bell. In recent after-hours trading, PortalPlayer's stock was up $1.52, or 8.3%, to $19.75.

The company earned $7.81 million, or 31 cents a share, in the just-completed quarter, compared with a year-ago loss of $2.41 million, or $15.37 a share. In the last year, the company's diluted share count swelled from 157,000 to 25.03 million, making the per-share results difficult to compare.

Excluding stock-based compensation charges, PortalPlayer would have earned $8.19 million, or 33 cents a share. The company's revenue surged to $44.5 million from $10.2 million in the year prior quarter.

Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting 20 cents a share excluding charges on $38.27 million in sales in the quarter. In January, the company predicted it would earn 16 cents to 19 cents a share -- 18 cents to 21 cents a share excluding items -- on sales ranging from roughly $35.78 million to $40.25 million.

In its current quarter, PortalPlayer expects to earn 19 cents to 25 cents a share -- 21 cents to 27 cents a share excluding stock-based compensation charges -- on sales ranging from $41.6 million to $47.6 million.

Wall Street had projected 17 cents a share in second-quarter earnings on revenue of $37.28 million.

The company's stock closed regular trading on Thursday up 30 cents, or 1.7%, to $18.23.

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