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Revenue jump helps iXL beat analyst estimates

Shares of iXL get a lift after the company reports fourth-quarter earnings a penny above analysts' estimates and an increase in quarterly revenues.

    Shares of iXL today got a lift after the company reported fourth-quarter earnings a penny above analysts' estimates and an increase in quarterly revenues.

    Net earnings for the period were $3.8 million, or 6 cents per share, on revenues of $75.1 million. That compares with a loss of $6.6 million, or 12 cents per share, on revenues of $29.1 million in the same period in 1998.

    Analysts expected the Atlanta-based Internet services firm to earn 5 cents per share, according to a survey by First Call.

    Shortly after the opening bell, iXL shares were up $2.69 to $49.50. The earnings report was issued after the close of regular trading yesterday.

    iXL, which competes in the growing Net services space against rivals Scient, Viant, Proxicom and others, attributed its positive fourth-quarter results to a hefty 158 percent increase in revenues to $75.1 million from last year's $29.1 million. For its fiscal year 1998, iXL said revenues jumped 235 percent to $216.9 million compared to 1998's $64.7 million.

    The company said business from key clients such as GE and Delta Airlines helped boost quarterly results. The GE contract guarantees the firm $20 million in its first 15 months and the five-year deal with Delta provides $10 million of services within the first year of the contract, according to iXL.

    Last quarter, iXL posted a narrower-than-expected loss of $12.9 million, or 20 cents a share. Revenues for the third quarter soared to $63.7 million from $18.1 million, the company said.