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Exodus beats Street in first quarter

Exodus Communications posted a smaller-than-expected loss in its first quarter Thursday, losing $42.3 million, or 23 cents a share, on sales of $134.1 million.

First Call consensus expecting the Internet hosting firm to lose 26 cents a share in the quarter.

Exodus (Nasdaq: EXDS) shares closed off 4 3/16 to 107 11/16 ahead of the earnings report.

The $134.1 million in sales marks a 346 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it lost $23.2 million, or 14 cents a share, on sales of $30 million.

Exodus also reported a $1.7 million EBITDA profit (earnings before net interest expense, income taxes, depreciation, amortization and other non-cash charges) in the quarter.

"This period marked the first quarter that Exodus achieved EBITDA profitability," said CEO Ellen Hancock in a prepared release. "This important milestone indicates the strength of our business model and our ability to generate a return on our investments."

Last quarter, Exodus posted a loss of $44 million, or 25 cents a share, on sales of $101.4 million.

Its shares hit a 52-week high of 179 5/8 in March after falling to a low of 15 last April.

All 32 analysts following the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.

First Call consensus expects it to lose 84 cents a share in the fiscal year.