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Jupiter Communications hurdles 2Q estimates

Jupiter Communications posted a surprise profit of in its second quarter Thursday, pocketing $1.6 million, or 11 cents a share, on sales of $25.7 million.

First Call Corp. consensus expected it to lose 7 cents a share in the quarter.

Jupiter (Nasdaq: JPTR) shares closed off 1 1/2 to 25 1/2 ahead of the earnings report.

The $25.7 million in sales represents a 207 percent jump from the year-ago quarter when it earned $199,000, or 2 cents a share, on sales of $8.4 million.

Including a variety of one-time charges, Jupiter posted a net loss of $227,000, or 1 cent a share.

"This quarter we continued to demonstrate the success of our leverageable business model, by achieving profitability, while still growing at a rapid pace," said CEO Gene DeRose in a prepared release. "We continued to innovate and launched new services to address the growing demands of the market--first and foremost, breaking new ground on discovering business processes that are transformed by the Internet."

In June, Jupiter announced it would merge with Media Metrix (Nasdaq: MMXI) in a $414 million stock deal that will create a one-stop Internet research and statistics shop.

Last quarter, Jupiter beat the Street estimate when it posted a profit of $11,000 on sales of $17.2 million.

Its shares moved up to a 52-week high of 47 3/8 in November before tumbling to a low of 16 5/8 in May.

Four of the five analysts following the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.

First Call Corp. consensus expects it to lose 2 cents a share in the fiscal year.