Jupiter posts 3Q profit

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Jupiter Communications (Nasdaq: JPTR) earned six times as much in the third quarter as it lost in the first two.

After market close Wednesday, the Internet market researcher reported third quarter net income of $788,000, or 6 cents per share, based on the number of shares outstanding after the company's initial public offering more than three weeks ago. Jupiter lost $130,000 in the first six months of this year.

Third quarter revenue rose 147 percent year-over-year, to $12.7 million from $5.1 million. The company's core business of research and advice did especially well with 288 percent year-over-year growth for the first nine months of this year, CEO Gene DeRose said. Conference revenue increased 127 percent year-over-year.

The total value of Jupiter's contracts increased to $28.4 million at the end of September, more than quadruple from a year earlier.

Two of Jupiter's IPO underwriters, Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette and Deutsche Banc Alex.Brown, began coverage of the stock with "buy" ratings Wednesday, prior to the earnings report. Deutsche Banc analyst Peter Appert, who was expecting Jupiter to report a third quarter loss of $100,000 on revenue of $10.3 million, set a 12-month price target of $40 per share on Jupiter stock.

Appert estimated the electronic commerce market growth at better than 100 percent a year and that spending on market research in this area is growing around the same rate. Jupiter is the dominant provider of e-commerce research, he said. "We believe Jupiter is all the thrill of the Internet, without the terror of an unproven business model," he wrote.>