Inktomi delivers in fourth quarter

Inktomi plowed past analysts' estimates in its fourth quarter Thursday, posting a profit of $8.8 million, or 7 cents a share, on sales of $78.6 million.

First Call Corp. consensus expected the Internet software developer to earn 5 cents a share in the quarter.

Inktomi (Nasdaq: INKT) shares closed off 81 cents to $83 ahead of the earnings report.

The $78.6 million in sales marks a 190 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it lost $6.1 million, or 6 cents a share, on sales of $27.1 million.

"We have built a company that stands for sustained performance and execution as evidenced by our third year of over 200 percent revenue growth, industry leadership position, entry into new markets and world-class alliances," said CEO David Peterschmidt in a prepared release.

For the fiscal year, Inktomi earned $13 million, or 11 cents a share, on sales of $223.5 million compared to a loss of $29.2 million, or 29 cents a share, on sales of $73.5 million in fiscal 1999.

Last quarter, Inktomi flew past analysts' estimates when it earned $4.5 million, or 4 cents a share, on sales of $61.5 million.

Inktomi shares moved up to a 52-week high of $241.50 in March after dropping to a low of $46.88 last October.

Twenty-one of the 22 analysts following the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.

First Call Corp. consensus expects Inktomi to earn 28 cents a share in fiscal 2001.