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3dfx exceeds 1Q estimates

3dfx beat analyst estimates in the first quarter.

After market close Tuesday, the maker of graphics acceleration cards reported a first quarter net loss of $12.4 million, or 51 cents per share. Excluding taxes and amortization of goodwill, the company lost $9.3 million.

First Call's survey of two analysts predicted a loss of 56 cents per share for the quarter ended April 30.

Revenue in the first quarter increased to $108.6 million, up from $40.4 million in the year-ago period, when 3dfx was purely a chipset maker. Gross margin of 24.3 percent was more than double 11.6 percent in the fourth quarter.

The company cut operating expenses by 10 percent, to $35.7 million from $39.2 million in the fourth quarter.

"We feel positive about our operating improvements particularly compared to the previous quarter," said Alex Leupp, president and CEO. "Our clear and immediate goal is to return to profitability and then move on with the task of obtaining significant growth by developing new markets for our 3D chips."

Since buying STB, 3dfx's lagging financial performance has been a marked contrast to its main chipset competitor, nVidia (Nasdaq: NVDA), which has boosted profits in recent quarters.

Shares of 3dfx fell 1/4 to 8 3/16 in Tuesday's regular trading, prior to the quarterly report.>