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Razorfish shares jump on strong sales

Razorfish Inc. (Nasdaq: RAZF) rose 20 percent, up 7 1/16 to 40 3/16, on Monday after reporting a strong rise in first quarter sales.

Revenue for the quarter rose to $12.4 million, up 483 percent from $2.1 million the same period last year. On a reported, or pro forma, basis, sales rose 78 percent to $6.9 million

The New York-based company earned 3 cents a basic share in the quarter, up from a profit of a penny a share a year ago. In real dollar terms, Razorfish earned $523,000, up from a loss of $110,00 in the same period a year earlier. Earnings per diluted share, which accounts for options, warrants, convertible bonds and preferred shares, weren't given. Consensus estimates were not available.

"Razorfish had a strong performance for the first quarter, and these results reflect our efforts to integrate the former Spray offices into our operations," said Sue Black, Razorfish's finance chief, in a statement. "However, we must note that the business environment continues to be challenging."

Gross margins rose to 47.5 percent from 33.6 percent from last year. The company cited the improvement from the greater number of billable employees.

In related news, Banc One Corp. launched its new Web site (www.bancone.com), which was built by Razorfish. The site lets users invest, file taxes, apply for loans, as well as pay credit cards and other bills.

Razorfish went public in April, rising 125 percent in its first day trading.