SAN FRANCISCO --Internet stocks closed modestly lower along with the rest of the stock market, as the sector avoided the extreme selling pressures it saw both Tuesday and Thursday.
A recovery in the bloodied
provided a late lift, but
fell for the second day since reporting earnings. Losses in Treasuries also kept the sector on the defensive going into the weekend.
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index closed down 1.90, or 0.3%, at 591.85 after trading as low as 581.35. For the week, the index dropped around 47 points. Amazon.com closed up 7 3/8, or 7%, at 114 9/16, recovering from a session low of 103 3/16. It made most of its progress in the last two hours of trading as shorts likely covered into the weekend. AOL finished down 2 9/16, or 2%, at 107 15/16. Both bellwethers have struggled since reporting earnings
Among the best performers today were two network-equipment stocks that reported earnings Thursday.
Copper Mountain Networks
, a supplier of digital subscriber line technology, closed up 17, or 19%, at 107 1/2 after beating earnings estimates. Copper Mountain reported earnings of 9 cents a share vs. a flat estimate from
and a year-ago loss of 21 cents. After the report,
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
upgraded Copper Mountain to outperform from neutral with a price target of 120. Morgan was an underwriter for Copper Mountain.
, a supplier of high-speed Internet access equipment, closed up 21 1/8, or 14%, at 169 1/8. The company, which just went public in May, reported a second-quarter loss of 16 cents a share, 3 cents better than the First Call estimate, while also setting a 2-for-1 stock split.
, the online sports information site, beat per-share earnings estimates by a penny Thursday with a 55-cent loss. However, losses are expected to widen as the company spends more money on marketing in the second half of the year. SportsLine said it plans to spend $6 million more on marketing in 1999 than anticipated to help build brand awareness. It closed down 7, or 18%, at 32.
Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown
lowered its rating on SportsLine to buy from strong buy, saying that the company was focusing more on scale than profitability. Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown lowered earnings estimates to a 72-cent loss for the third quarter vs. a previous 50-cent loss. For the fourth quarter, it lowered estimates to a 71-cent loss vs. a 46-cent loss.
But in a note on the stock, Deutsche Banc analysts wrote that they "continue to be strong believers in SportsLine's attractive category, strong early positioning in Europe and established U.S. presence." Still, its lowered its 12-month price target for SportsLine to 56 from 85.
It was a mixed day for Internet IPOs.
(INSW:Nasdaq), which provides customized insurance quotes over the Internet, closed up 14 9/16, or 86%, at 31 9/16. But
(JFAX:Nasdaq), an Internet-based messaging and communications provider, closed unchanged at 9 1/2, trading in a range from 9 3/8 to 10 5/16.