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&#039&#039Net Earnings Roundup: Peapod disappoints; Talk.com delivers

Online grocer Peapod missed analysts' estimates in its second quarter Wednesday, losing $8.9 million, or 50 cents a share, on sales of $22.7 million.

First Call Corp. consensus expected Peapod to lose 39 cents a share in the quarter.

Peapod (Nasdaq: PPOD) shares closed off 7/32 to 2 3/8 ahead of the earnings report.

In the year-ago quarter, Peapod posted a loss of $4.9 million, or 28 cents a share, on sales of $17.1 million.

Company officials said it had more than 135,000 customers at the end of June, up 47 percent from the same period last year. Repeat orders accounted for 91 percent of all the orders placed in the quarter and the average order size was $115.

"We believe that the Peapod/Ahold partnership provides a tremendous opportunity for both companies to build the strongest set of operating metrics in the online grocery retailing business," said CEO Marc van Gelder in a prepared release. "As part of our second-quarter efforts, we invested significant resources to focus our energies on an enduring Peapod/Ahold growth strategy."

Peapod shares hit a 52-week high of 16 3/8 in November before falling to a low of 2 in May.

All three analysts following the stock rate it a "hold."

Among other Internet companies reporting earnings Wednesday:

  • Talk.com (Nasdaq: TALK) topped analysts' estimates in its second quarter Wednesday, losing $891,000, or 1 cent a share, on sales of $135.8 million.

    First Call Corp. consensus expected it to lose 6 cents a share in the quarter.

    Its shares closed off 7/16 to 4 11/16 ahead of the earnings report.

    The $135.8 million in sales represents a 16 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it earned $14 million, or 22 cents a share, on sales of $117.1 million.

    Its shares hit a 52-week high of 22 7/8 in February.

  • Global Sports (Nasdaq: GSPT) posted a smaller-than-expected loss in its second quarter, losing $11.4 million, or 54 cents a share, on sales of $7.8 million.

    First Call Corp. consensus expected it to lose 58 cents a share in the quarter.

    In the year-ago quarter, Global Sports lost 61 cents a share.

    Its shares closed up 7/8 to 8 ahead of the earnings report.

  • ZDNet (NYSE: ZDZ), the parent company of ZD Interactive Investor, posted a profit of $5.9 million, or 7 cents a share, on sales of $39.2 million.

    First Call Corp. consensus expected it to earn 6 cents a share in the quarter.

    The $39.2 million in sales marks a 71 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it earned $4 million, or 5 cents a share, on sales of $22.9 million.

    Its shares closed off 9/16 to 16 3/4 ahead of the earnings report.

    Last month, competitor CNet (Nasdaq: CNET) announced it would acquire ZDNet and Ziff-Davis Inc. (NYSE: ZD) in a stock and cash deal valued at more than $1.6 billion.>