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MindSpring gains in Net stocks

The ISP's shares close higher on news that the Atlanta-based company had declared a 3-for-1 stock split.

Shares of national Internet provider MindSpring closed up 14.31 to 94.87 on news that the Atlanta-based company had declared a 3-for-1 stock split.

MindSpring's 17.77 percent rise was the most visible gain among Internet stocks today.

Over the past 12 months, the consumer ISP's stock has risen nearly eightfold. In just the past week, it gained more than 35 percent, as rumors that AT&T had made a bid for America Online fueled speculation that Internet providers were hot acquisition targets.

MindSpring's stock split will be payable July 24 for stockholders of record July 9, the company said. Shareholders on that date will receive two additional shares of common stock for each held share.

Although more dramatic than most, MindSpring's run-up reflects the rise in Internet stocks in general, which over the past few weeks have surged among a frenzy of mergers and partnerships among telcos, media companies, and Net outfits.

Other gainers were America Online, up 4.12 at 108.06; CMP Media, up 0.50 at 14; Netscape Communications, up 1.25 to close at 27.18; and Yahoo, up 3.50 at 152.25.

Notable exceptions were Excite, down 1.50 to close at 79.12, as well as Amazon.com, down 0.75 at 99.06.