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Net stocks move on Yahoo profits

Yahoo's earnings lead a morning rally in Internet stocks, but the results are mixed as the day wears on.

    Yahoo's better-than-expected earnings led a morning rally in Internet stocks, but the results became mixed as the day wore on.

    On the Nasdaq, Yahoo was the most active stock, rising more than 4 percent to 193.6875 in afternoon trading after climbing as high as 204 this morning. It then fell 2.1875 to close the day at 184.

    Some Wall Street analysts raised their earnings estimates for the Internet company. Donaldson, Lufkin, & Jenrette said it increased Yahoo's 1998 earnings per share forecast to 63 cents from 45 cents and kept its "buy" rating on the stock. Morgan Stanley analyst Mary Meeker said she also has raised her expectations, pushing her 1998 earnings-per-share target to 65 cents per share from 45 cents per share.

    Another analyst, Paul Noglows of Hambrecht and Quist, cut his earnings estimates on Yahoo to "hold" from "buy."

    "I just can't in good conscience recommend people buy [Yahoo] stock at this level," he said. "If you are in it for the long hold, you'll do fine. But it is an appropriate time to take some profits."

    Amazon.com, America Online, and E*Trade also were trading higher.

    But in late trading, many Net stocks had begun to slide. Lycos closed the day down more than 8 percent at 70.9375 after reaching a high of 85 today. Excite fell 9.125 to 82.25, down almost 10 percent.

    "I would most attribute the decline to profit-taking," said Terry McCrary, an analyst at Waldron & Company. "Someone who bought Lycos or Excite is making seven times their money."

    McCrary added: "People are taking a breather, seeing what the business models are and how much income they are going to generate and when."