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Jupiter Communications rises on strong 1Q results

    Jupiter Communications shares picked up 2 13/16, or 11 percent, to 28 11/16 Thursday, one day after it easily hurdled analysts' estimates in its first quarter.

    In the quarter, Jupiter posted a surprise profit of $11,000 on sales of $17.2 million.

    First Call Corp. consensus pegged the Internet commerce research firm for a loss of 8 cents a share in the quarter.

    Earlier this quarter, Jupiter officials told Wall Street its first-quarter results would exceed estimates.

    In the quarter, Jupiter's contract value jumped 232 percent to $50.5 million compared to $15.3 million in the year-ago quarter.

    The number of client contracts for Jupiter's research services rose 125 percent to 1,158 from 514 in the year-ago quarter.

    Including a $3.2 million after-tax gain from the sale of its interest in Methodfive Inc., Jupiter earned $3.2 million, or 20 cents a share, in the quarter.

    "We had another great quarter, exceeding even our most optimistic expectations," said CEO Gene DeRose in a prepared release. "With our expanded distribution reach, we're capturing more and more of the unprecedented demand for our services, while maintaining a strong 75 percent renewal rate and increasing the average size of our client contracts."

    Last quarter, Jupiter met Street expectations, posting a loss of $1.3 million, or 9 cents a share, on sales of $11 million.

    Jupiter shares marched up to a 52-week high of 47 3/8 in November before slipping to a low of 16 5/8 in March.

    All five analysts covering the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy."