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MP3.com tops 1Q estimates

MP3.com Inc. (Nasdaq: MPPP) posted a smaller-than-expected loss in its first quarter Thursday, dropping $8.4 million, or 13 cents a share, on sales of $17.5 million.

First Call consensus expected it lose 16 cents a share in the quarter.

Ahead of the earnings report, MP3.com shares closed off 9/16 to 10 9/16.

In the year-ago quarter, it lost $1.4 million, or 5 cents a share, on sales of $666,000.

"Once again, we achieved a solid quarter with very strong top-line growth," said CEO Michael Robertson in a prepared release. "At the same time, we also were able to improve our gross margins which correlate to the overall strength of our key metrics."

MP3.com shares hit a 52-week high of 105 shortly after its July initial public offering before plummeting to a low of 9 11/16 last week.

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

First Call consensus expects it to lose 39 cents a share in the fiscal year.>