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iXL inches past 4Q estimates

iXL Enterprises Inc. (Nasdaq: IIXL) tiptoed past analysts' estimates in its fourth quarter Wednesday, earning $3.8 million, or 6 cents a share, on sales of $75.1 million.

First Call consensus expected the Internet services firm to earn 5 cents a share in the quarter.

iXL shares closed off 2 9/16 to 46 13/16 ahead of the earnings report.

The $75.1 million in sales mark a 158 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it lost $6.6 million, or 12 cents a share, on sales of $29.1 million.

"1999 was a big year for iXL," said CEO Bert Ellis in a prepared release. "We had another record quarter and an outstanding year of growth."

Its shares marched up to a 52-week high of 58 3/4 in January after falling to a low of 13 3/4 in June.

All seven analysts following the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.

First Call consensus expects it to earn 37 cents a share in fiscal 2000.