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HotJobs sees better-than-expected 1Q sales (Nasdaq: HOTJ) says its top line will beat analyst estimates in the first quarter.

After market close Thursday, the provider of Internet job services said it expects to top the consensus analyst revenue estimate of $9.85 million by at least 10 percent in the first quarter of 2000. HotJobs doesn't expect to beat bottom line forecasts by more than a "minimal" amount.

First Call's survey of six analysts predicts a Hotjobs loss of 43 cents per share for the March quarter. Consensus estimates call for a loss 44 cents a share when non-cash compensation charges are included.

HotJobs said it now has more than 5,000 companies listing on its online job exchange, more than a 50 percent gain sequentially from 3,200 at the end of 1999. "As a result of increased revenue, has been able to reinvest in its core business through increased investment in its infrastructure and related marketing expenditures in order to meet the needs of its rapid growth," said Richard Johnson, president and CEO.

In the fourth quarter, HotJobs topped analyst forecasts by a penny per share.

Shares of HotJobs closed Thursday's regular trading at 25 5/32, down 2 11/32 for the session. Among four analysts polled by Zack's Investment Research, two maintain the equivalent of "moderate buy" ratings on HotJobs, one recommends it as a "strong buy" and one has a "hold" advisory on the stock.

HotJobs competitors include CareerBuilder (Nasdaq: CBDR); HeadHunter.Net (Nasdaq: HHNT); (Nasdaq: TJOB); and, a unit of TMP Worldwide (NYSE: TMP). >