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Internet Capital Group sees 3Q sales explode

Internet Capital Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ICGE) posted a third-quarter loss of $15.2 million, or 13 cents a share, on sales of $7.2 million in its first quarter as a publicly traded company.

Its shares closed up 4 1/16 to 178 1/16 ahead of the earnings report.

There was no First Call consensus available for Internet Capital this quarter.

The $7.2 million in sales marks a sevenfold improvement compared to the year-ago quarter when it lost $4.1 million, or 7 cents a share, on sales of $897,000.

"This was an exciting quarter for Internet Capital with the continued growth of our network and completion of our initial public offering," said CEO Walter Buckley in a prepared release. "Also, two of our partner companies completed IPOs, US Interactive in the third quarter and Breakaway Solutions in early October."

In the quarter, ICG spent $29 million on acquisitions and follow-on financing and increased its base of partner companies from 22 to 39.

It also agreed to acquire an interest in eMerge Interactive for a combination of cash and debt totaling $50 million. eMerge Interactive is an Internet-based provider of e-commerce, information services and technology solutions for the animal industry, primarily the cattle segment.

Internet Capital shares soared up to an all-time high of 195 9/167 earlier this month after opening at $14 in its August initial public offering.

Two of the three analysts following the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.

Internet Capital Group is an Internet holding company actively engaged in business-to-business e-commerce through a network of partner companies