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Another strong quarter for Portal Software

Portal Software surprised analysts in its second quarter Thursday, posting a profit of $5.6 million, or 3 cents a share, on sales of $64.5 million.

First Call Corp. consensus expected the Internet software developer to earn 1 cent a share in the quarter.

Portal Software (Nasdaq: PRSF) shares closed up 1 3/8 to 57 1/2 ahead of the earnings report.

The $64.5 million in sales represents a 210 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it lost $800,000, or a penny a share, on sales of $20.8 million.

"Second quarter performance reflects Portal's ability to sustain growth and profitability, as well as expand our market position," said CEO John Little in a prepared release.

Portal Software also beat the Street estimate in its first quarter, earning $3.1 million, or 2 cents a share, on sales of $50.6 million.

Its shares moved up to a 52-week high of 86 in February after falling to a low of 19 1/8 in September.

All 13 analysts tracking the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy."

First Call Corp. consensus expects the Cupertino, Calif. company to earn 7 cents a share in the fiscal year.