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PurchasePro.com beats estimates, sees profitability in 4Q

    PurchasePro.com posted a smaller-than-expected loss in its third quarter Tuesday, losing $4.7 million, or 7 cents a share, on sales of $17.3 million. It also said it expects to reach profitability in the fourth quarter.

    First Call Corp. consensus expected the e-commerce software and services provider to lose 17 cents a share in the quarter.

    Ahead of the earnings report, PurchasePro.com (Nasdaq: PPRO) shares fell $4.50 to $40.25.

    In the year-ago quarter, PurchasePro.com lost $3.7 million, or 12 cents a share, on sales of $1.7 million.

    "The company's continuing trend of record financial results further positions PurchasePro as a leading provider of e-commerce solutions," said CEO Charles Johnson, Jr. in a prepared release. "Because of our recurring revenue model, we will begin the fourth quarter with a significant percentage of the revenue generated in the third quarter. As a result, we are advancing our profitability estimate to the fourth quarter."

    Last quarter, PurchasePro.com posted a loss of $7.1 million, or 22 cents a share, on sales of $9.5 million.

    Its shares moved up to a 52-week high of $87.50 in December after bottoming out at $9.13 last October.

    All eight analysts following the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy."

    First Call Corp. consensus expects the company to lose 56 cents a share in the fiscal year.