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Netcentives beats 3Q estimates

Netcentives Inc. (Nasdaq: NCNT) said Wednesday that the loss for its third quarter was 48 cents a share, beating First Call's expected loss of 52 cents a share on strong revenue growth.

Shares in the provider of Internet marketing software and services closed at 20 3/8 Tuesday, down slightly from its peak. The company completed its IPOin October.

Netcentives' loyalty program, ClickRewards, allows its merchants to give customers rewards including frequent flyer miles, car rentals, hotel discounts and brand name merchandise. Through this and other programs, Netcentives sells a combination of products and services to its customers, including currency, promotion sponsorship, advertising and direct marketing campaign management.

Revenue for the third quarter rocketed 450 percent to $2 million compared with $364,000 for the third quarter of 1998, and also improved 47 percent over the previous quarter. Net loss for the third quarter was $11.6 million, or 48 cents a share. Deferred revenue, which relates to ClickMiles that have been sold to merchants, but not yet awarded as well as unredeemed ClickMiles, was $7.6 million at Sept. 30, up increase of 75 percent from the $4.3 million on June 30.

The company began to implement three large-scale custom loyalty networks over the quarter, including the recently launched Lycos Rewards and global enterprise incentive programs for both Novell and Cisco. The ClickRewards Shopping Network, to which it has added more high-traffic retailers like Compaq, has grown to more than 2.5 million consumer members.