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Netscape revenues soar fivefold

Netscape reported quarterly earnings of $75 million, five times last year's total.

Bouyed by strong sales of its browser and server software, Netscape Communications reported today that the 2-year-old company more than quintupled its revenues from the same quarter last year, to $75 million.

Analysts are also predicting that Netscape's chief rival, Microsoft, will meet expectations when it follows with its own earnings report Monday. If that holds true, the dual reports combined with Wednesday's strong financial figures from Intel will provide at least some relieve to an otherwise dismal quarter for high-tech companies.

Today, Netscape posted revenues of $75 million for the quarter ending June 30, a significant increase over the $14.1 million of the correspondent quarter last year. However, improvements in net income were less impressive, rising from a loss of $2.79 million, or 4 cents per share, to $906,000, or 1 cent per share. This quarter's net income report reflects $6.1 million in merger-related expenses, including the acquisitions of Paper Software, InSoft, and NetCode.

Although the company announced earnings after close of market, Netscape's stock shot up 4-1/2 points to close at 56-1/2.

Meanwhile, analysts are expecting Microsoft to repeat Intel's strong showing yesterday, thanks to strong PC shipments last quarter.

"Intel hit their numbers, so I expect Microsoft to do the same," said Charlie Federman an analyst with Broadview Associates. But he does not expect Microsoft's results to beat expectations--at least this quarter.

"Microsoft lags Intel by one quarter," Federman said. "Intel ships chips that actually get put into PCs the following quarter, so they are the leading indicator for what Microsoft will do."

Microsoft's stock was up 2-3/4 points today to close at 119-7/8.

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