Beats Estimates

Also, in the wake of Compaq, the PC sector is weak but not dying; Net stocks rise.
Publish date:

SAN FRANCISCO -- (BCST) beat Wall Street estimates for its first-quarter results.

The company, which recently agreed to be acquired by



, lost 11 cents a share for the first quarter. Excluding charges related to its purchase of


, the company posted a loss of 9 cents a share, or three cents better than the 12-cent loss estimated by analysts surveyed by

First Call

. The company reported revenue of $10.3 million in the quarter, up from $4.5 million in the first quarter of 1998 and $7.6 million in revenue reported in the fourth quarter.

The report shouldn't hurt Net stocks, which continued to ramp today despite weakness in some of the PC and chip makers after Compaq's earnings warning on

Friday. Compaq finished the day down 6 3/4, or 22%, at 24 3/16. The stock suffered from a number of analyst downgrades and fell as low as 23 1/8 at one point.

But it was far from an industrywide shakeout. There already were rumblings that Compaq was having a rough quarter back in late

February, so the announcement, while unexpected, was not a shock. And some analysts said Compaq's woes were not industrywide.

"I think investors are looking at this as an isolated situation with Compaq," said Jim Herrick, managing director of trading with

Robert W. Baird


The PC sector was weak:


(DELL) - Get Report

closed down 1 3/4, or 4%, at 41 13/16.


(IBM) - Get Report

closed down 2 7/8, or 1.5%, at 183 7/16.



closed down 2 7/8, or 4%, at 69 7/8.


(INTC) - Get Report

reports earnings on Tuesday and in advance of the earnings, the company was downgraded by

BancBoston Robertson Stephens

. It closed down 4 3/16, or 6%, at 61 1/4. There seem to be conflicting opinions regarding Intel's report and whether the company will hint at a slowdown down the road.

Net stocks were among the strongest in the tech sector, with a 20-plus point gain seen in a number of companies. There was some talk that Compaq's concerns, which were blamed to a large degree on ultracompetitive pricing, actually could be positive for the Internet sector in general. As computers become cheaper, more people buy them and get on the Net. Internet Sector

index closed up 58.5, or 8%, to 790.44.

Herrick said the run in Internet stocks should continue unless there is a negative earnings surprise. He said funds, which once shunned the Net stocks, are now active participants to keep returns strong. Indeed,

Liquidity Trim Tabs

reported today that approximately $7 billion had been put into equity funds over the five days ending last Thursday, a huge number considering it comes around tax time.

Online brokerages remained red hot amid optimism over upcoming earnings numbers.


(AMTD) - Get Report

, which reports earnings later this week, closed up 26 11/16, or 23%, at 142 1/4.

National Discount Brokerage


closed up 15 7/8, or 34%, at 62 1/2, while

J.B. Oxford Holdings


closed up 2 5/16, or 19%, at 14 3/4.

Among the Net stocks in the news was


(RNWK) - Get Report

after announcing an agreement to provide technology for IBM. RealNetworks closed up 39 1/2, or 19%, at 247.






traded higher after DoubleClick announced it had selected AboveNet to operate computers that control its Web service. AboveNet closed up 45 3/8, or 43%, at 150 1/4, while DoubleClick closed up 17 5/8, or 14%, at 146 1/2.

A number of other Net stocks remained heavy momentum plays. Among them were



, which closed up 32, or 22%, at 179 1/2, and



, which closed up 39, or 33%, at 158 1/2.

Internet venture capitalists also remained a favorite play.



closed up 37 5/8, or 14%, at 302, while

Point West Capital


closed up 9 points, or 58%, at 24 5/8.

As originally published, this column contained an error. Please see

Corrections and Clarifications.