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ZDNet reports 4Q results

    ZDNet (NYSE: ZDZ) posted a fourth-quarter profit of $2.1 million, or 3 cents a share, on sales of $36.4 million.

    ZDNet shares closed up 2 3/8 to 33 1/8 ahead of the earnings report.

    The $36.4 million in sales marks an 85 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it pocketed $800,000, or 1 cent a share, on sales of $19.7 million.

    ZDNet is the parent company of ZD Inter@ctive Investor.

    For the year, ZDNet earned $1.9 million, or 3 cents a share, on sales of $104.2 million compared to a loss of $7.8 million, or 11 cents a share, on sales of $56.1 million infiscal 1998. Its advertising sales jumped 102 percent compared to the year-ago period.

    "ZDNet generated tremendous growth in revenue, audience reach and all operating metrics and achieved profitability during 1999, which is a testament to our ability to leverage our status as the leading technology-focused Web property," said CEO Dan Rosensweig in a prepared release.

    In December, ZDNet recorded more than 9.6 million unique visitors according to Media Metrix.

    ZDNet shares peaked at 55 1/2 in April before falling to a low of 13 3/8 in September.

    Three of the four analysts covering the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation. >