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Ariba tops 2Q estimates

    Ariba (Nasdaq: ARBA) lost less than analysts expected in the second quarter.

    After market close Wednesday, the provider of Internet marketplaces for business-to-business sales reported a fiscal second quarter loss of $11.5 million, or 6 cents per share, excluding special charges. First Call's survey of 21 analysts predicted a loss of 8 cents per share for the quarter ended Mar. 31.

    Including acquisition-related charges, Ariba lost $125.9 million, or 70 cents per share.

    "I'm extremely pleased to report a phenomenal quarter," CFO Edward P. Kinsey said during a Wednesday afternoon conference call with analysts. "The quality of our financials has continued to be a benchmark for the industry."

    Second quarter revenue increased to $40 million, a 322 percent gain from a year earlier, 71 percent improvement sequentially and 38 percent above consensus estimates. Total customers more than doubled as Ariba signed 79 new deals during the quarter, executives said.

    The network effect continues to accelerate," Kinsey said. "It really seems like the more buyers and suppliers we sign, the more buyers and suppliers we attract."

    Revenue growth was slightly above Ariba's prediction from a week ago, which was already higher than Wall Street consensus forecasts.

    Shares of Ariba slid 9 9/16 to 72 in Wednesday's regular trading, prior to the quarterly report.

    Competitors of Ariba include Commerce One (Nasdaq: CMRC) and Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL).>