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Netscape doubles quarterly profits

Netscape Communications nearly doubled its first-quarter profits.

Netscape Communications nearly doubled its profits for the first quarter of the year on a 35 percent increase in revenue.

Netscape's net income for the first quarter came in at $4.7 million, or $0.06 per share, compared to $2.4 million, or $0.03 per share, for the previous quarter. The company reported revenues totaling $55 million for the first quarter ended March 31, up from $40.6 million for the previous quarter. The company went public last August.

Netscape's stock closed up more than 3 points today at 61-7/8.

One of the hottest initial public offerings of 1995, Netscape and other Internet companies have become the darlings of Wall Street. But the long-term ability to continue turning a profit remains unproven. Netscape, for example, sells Web server software and development tools but largely gives away its popular Web browser.

In March of this year, the company also announced substantial cuts in its Web server prices in an effort to wean businesses off freeware Web servers. The server products are still in beta testing, so the effects of that price cut are not reflected in this quarter's earnings.