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Jupiter Communications meets 4Q estimates

Jupiter Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: JPTR) met analysts' estimates in its fourth quarter Monday after posting a loss of $1.3 million, or 9 cents a share, on sales of $11 million.

First Call consensus expected it to lose 9 cents a share in the quarter.

Jupiter shares closed up 4 1/2 to 32 1/2 ahead of the earnings report.

The $11 million in sales represents a 197 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it lost $600,000, or 5 cents a share, on sales of $3.7 million.

"We had a stellar fourth quarter and a phenomenally successful 1999," said CEO Gene DeRose in a prepared release. "Like our clients, we're growing at Internet speed as evidenced by our triple-digit increases in revenue, contract value and number of client contracts."

For the year, Jupiter lost $600,000, or 5 cents a share, on sales of $38.1 million compared to a loss of $2.1 million, or 21 cents a share, on sales of $14.7 million in fiscal 1998.

In the quarter, the company's contract value jumped a whopping 244 percent to $40.1 million compared to $11.7 million in the same period last year.

Client contracts for its core research services rose 134 percent to 987 from 421 at the end of 1998. Average contract size increased 47 percent to $41,000 from $28,000 from the year-ago quarter.

Last quarter, Jupiter raked in $788,000, or 6 cents a share, on sales of $12.7 million.

Its shares reached an all-time high of 47 3/8 in November before falling to a low of 23 1/8 earlier this month.

All three analysts tracking the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.