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&#039Net Earnings Roundup: PurchasePro.com delivers

PurchasePro.com was one of several Internet firms to post a smaller-than-expected loss in its first quarter Tuesday, losing $8.3 million, or 28 cents a share, on sales of $4.5 million.

First Call consensus expected the B2B firm to lose 29 cents a share in the quarter.

PurchasePro.com (Nasdaq: PPRO) shares closed up 3 5/16 to 36 5/16 ahead of the earnings report.

The $4.5 million in sales marks a 575 percent explosion from the year-ago quarter when it lost $6.1 million, or 22 cents a share, on sales of $674,000.

Company officials said 25 percent of the company's new business is through online registration, without the use of a sales call.

"Our outstanding financial results illustrate that our network and marketplace exchanges are reaching critical mass and gaining traction," said CEO Charles Johnson, Jr. in a prepared release.

PurchasePro.com shares moved as high as 175 in December after hitting a 52-week low of 14 5/8 in September.

First Call consensus expects it to lose $1.79 a share in the fiscal year.

All six analysts providing coverage of the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy."

Among other Internet stocks reporting earnings Tuesday:

  • Travelocity.com Inc. (Nasdaq: TVLY) also topped analysts estimates Tuesday, posting a first-quarter loss of $5.6 million, or 38 cents a share, on sales of $35.7 million.

    Analysts were looking for a loss of 43 cents a share in the quarter.

    Its shares moved up a modest 35/64 to 18 5/16 ahead of the earnings report.

    The $35.7 million in sales represents a 122 percent jump from the year-ago quarter when it lost $3.5 million, or 25 cents a share, on sales of $16.1 million.

    Its shares hit a 52-week high of 51 7/8 in March.

  • Insweb Corp. (Nasdaq: INSW) posted a smaller-than-expected loss in its first quarter Tuesday, dropping $13.1 million, or 37 cents a share, on sales of $8.6 million.

    First Call consensus expected it to lose 38 cents a share.

    Insweb shares closed up 1 29/32 to 5 15/16 Tuesday.

    The $8.6 million in sales represents a 160 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it lost $6 million, or 24 cents a share, on sales of $3.3 million.>