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MapQuest.com sneaks past 1Q estimates

MapQuest.com Inc. (Nasdaq: MQST) posted a smaller-than-expected loss in its first quarter Tuesday, losing $2.8 million, or 10 cents a share, on sales of $6.2 million. Its shares closed up 1/2 to 17 1/2.

First Call consensus expected it to lose 11 cents a share in the quarter.

In the year-ago period, MapQuest.com lost $900,000, or 3 cents a share, on sales of $5.6 million.

"We are very pleased with our performance in the first quarter, and particularly with our growth in Internet-related revenues," said CEO Michael Mulligan in a prepared release.

In the first quarter, company officials said it tripled its advertising revenue to $1 million while expanding its sales channels to several local markets.

In early May, MapQuest.com shares rocketed up 66 percent in its initial public offering. After peaking at 28, the stock soon rolled back to a low of 13 7/8 several weeks later.

Still, all 3 analysts following the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy."

First Call consensus expects MapQuest.com to lose 12 cents a share in its second quarter and 44 cents a share in the fiscal year.