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Following the release of relatively strong financial results for the third quarter, shares in Internet company About (BOUT) were up 5.3% Tuesday, continuing their rebound from 52-week lows set last week.

Stock rallies after long decline

At midday Tuesday, shares in the company were trading at $26.13, up 63% from the intraday low of $16 that the stock hit last Wednesday amid continuing pessimism about Internet stocks. About traded as high as $105.81 earlier this year.

The company's third-quarter results, and the market's reaction to them, indicate that though the online Internet advertising situation is serious, it's not hopeless.

After the close of trading Monday, About reported revenues for the quarter ended Sept. 30 of $26.8 million, up 33% from the second quarter -- a strong performance in what is generally acknowledged to have been a tough quarter for online advertising sales. Earlier this month, About reported that its pro forma losses, excluding noncash compensation and goodwill amortization, would come in ahead of expectations at an 18-cents-per-share loss, matched that forecast; analysts following the company had predicted a 23-cent loss.

Like other companies, About, which operates a collection of subject-specific guides to the Web, did suffer a drop in the average price for which it sold advertising, and in the revenue the company garnered per thousand page views, reports Derek Brown, analyst with

WR Hambrecht

. But that weakness was offset by surging traffic to the site despite a "massive" decline in sales and marketing expenses as a percentage of revenue, Brown says.

He also points out that, for comparison's sake, Internet leaders

America Online





reported sequential revenue growth of 2.4% and 8.3%, respectively.

Brown, whose firm hasn't done underwriting for About, rates the company a strong buy. He has a price target of $75 on the stock.