Internet investment banker Wit Capital (Nasdaq: WITC) topped Wall Street expectations Thursday with a third quarter loss of $5.1 million, or 8 cents a share, on revenue of $12.4 million.
First Call consensus expected a loss of 12 cents a share.
Revenue was well ahead of the $1 million in sales reported in the third quarter a year ago and up 10 percent from the sales of $11.3 million reported in the second quarter. In the year ago quarter, Wit lost 33 cents a share.
Most of Wit's revenue ($8.4 million) came from investment banking with brokerage sales accounting for $2.1 million of the total. Interest accounted for the remainder of revenue.
Investment banking revenue was up slightly from the second quarter tally of $8.2 million because of higher management fees. However, Wit participated in fewer deals.
In the third quarter, Wit acted as co-manager in 16 securities offerings and was a syndicate member in an additional 17 offerings, compared to 21 co-managed offerings and 21 syndicate deals in the second quarter.
The company also secured fewer IPO shares -- a big deal for investors looking to get in on the IPO price. Wit secured 6.8 million shares for customers compared to 6.9 million in the second quarter.
In other earnings news Thursday morning:
Sportsline USA (Nasdaq: SPLN) reported a third quarter profit courtesy of a one-time gain while an operating loss beat First Call consensus estimates.
The company reported sales of $15.2 million, more than double year ago figures. Including a one-time gain from the early retirement of convertible debt, Sportsline reported a profit of $5.1 million, or 22 cents a share. Excluding those gains, the company had a loss of $16.7 million, or 72 cents a share. First Call was looking for a loss of 80 cents a share.
Unique visitors in September were up 15 percent from August to 4.7 million. Page views averaged 9.3 million a day in the quarter.
BackWeb (Nasdaq: BWEB), a push technology provider, topped estimates by two pennies with a third quarter operating loss of $1.6 million, or 5 cents a share, on sales of $6.2 million. Sales were up 156 percent from the year ago quarter and 22 percent from the second quarter.
Including merger charges, the company would have lost 7 cents a share, in line with First Call consensus. Competitor Marimba (Nasdaq: MRBA) reported earnings Wednesday after the bell.
Business Objects (Nasdaq: BOBJ), data warehousing company, handily beat First Call consensus by a nickel with third quarter earnings of $5.9 million, or 30 cents a share.
Revenue in the quarter was $59.8 million, up 45 percent compared to $41.3 million a year ago. Earnings more than doubled from the 13 cents a share profit a year ago.