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Portal Software rockets on AOL Time Warner deal

Shares of Portal Software Inc. (Nasdaq: PRSF) jumped more than 34 percent on Monday after the company announced a software platform deal with AOL Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: AOL).

Shares of Cupertino, Calif.-based Portal Software moved up $3.63 to $14.25 early in Monday's session while AOL Time Warner gained $0.16 to $54.75.

Under the deal, America Online will license Portal's software platform in what was described as a "multimillion dollar, multi-year" contract. America Online plans to use the Portal's business management and billing software to support a number of services.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Talk about good timing. The AOL Time Warner deal gives Portal shares a much-needed boost. In November, Portal shares were halved on concerns about earnings growth.

Analysts said the AOL Time Warner deal, which had been rumored for months, is notable because it could lead to other big customer wins for Portal. "We believe gaining the largest U.S. ISP is a significant customer win for Portal. We believe it could provide further momentum in gaining tier-1 accounts," said Kevin Trosian, an analyst with Bank of America Securities.

Trosian didn't adjust his earnings and revenue targets, but noted that the AOL deal could boost results in the April quarter.

Mark Fernandes, an analyst at Merrill Lynch, said AOL should account for more than 10 percent of Portal's revenue in fiscal 2001.

Separately, Portal Software said it has inked a deal with network-based IP service platform company CoSine Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: COSN) for broadband, wireless Internet, and next-generation communications services. Share of CoSine rose over 7 percent, up $1.31 to $18.38.