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Inktomi hits lowered 1Q estimates, cuts 2001 targets

Inktomi hit analysts’ reduced estimates in its first quarter Thursday, but lowered estimates for the second quarter and the rest of 2001.

In the quarter, it earned $1 million, or 1 cent a share, on sales of $80.5 million.

First Call Corp. consensus expected it to earn 1 cent a share on sales of $80.2 million following its profit warning earlier this month.

Analysts originally pegged Inktomi for a profit of 3 cents a share.

Inktomi (Nasdaq: INKT) shares closed up 6 cents to $17.50 ahead of the earnings report before moving up to $18.06 in after-hours trading.

The $80.5 million in sales marks a 123 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it lost $4 million, or 4 cents a share, on sales of $36.1 million.

Inktomi also said it would sell its commerce business to e-centives Inc., an online direct marketing company, for up to 19.9 percent of e-centives outstanding shares of common stock.

During a conference call with analysts, CEO David Peterschmidt said the company now expects to post a loss of between 3 cents to 5 cents a share in the second quarter on sales of between $63 million to $67 million.

Analysts were forecasting a profit of 2 cents a share in the second quarter on sales of $86.8 million.

“We will incur a modest loss for the next two quarters but plan to remain profitable for the year,'' Peterschmidt said.

The revised forecast excludes about $6 million in sales from the company's commerce business, which is slated to be sold to e-centives Inc.

For the fiscal year, Inktomi now expects to post sales of between $285 million to $305 million, excluding $30 million in commerce business sales.

Last quarter, Inktomi recorded a profit of $8.8 million, or 7 cents a share, on sales of $78.6 million.

Inktomi shares raced up to a 52-week high of $241.50 in March before slumping to a low of $10.81 earlier this month.

Seventeen of the 23 analysts tracking the stock rate it either a “buy” or “strong buy.”