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Excite traffic pumps revenue

The search firm narrows its first-quarter net losses and increases revenue by 206 percent from the like quarter a year ago.

Excite said today that it narrowed its first-quarter net losses and increased revenue by 206 percent from the like quarter a year ago, citing traffic gains to the Internet directory site.

The net loss for the first quarter ending March 31 was $6.96 million (34 cents), compared with a net loss of $8.78 million (74 cents) for the same quarter in 1997. Quarterly revenue jumped to $23 million from $7.5 million.

The pro forma net loss for this year's first quarter was $6 million, or 28 cents per share. The pro forma net loss for the like quarter a year ago was $4.5 million, or 38 cents.

The latest quarterly loss was close to analysts' expectations, and the pro forma results beat them. The median estimate for Excite's quarterly earnings was 35 cents per share, according to First Call. The range of broker estimates was between a loss of 42 cents per share and a loss of 27 cents per share.

Excite said its network traffic jumped to about 40 million average page views per day last month, up 48 percent from December. The company said it booked $56.3 million in new e-commerce partnerships in the first quarter.

"Our growth was strong across all measurements--traffic, unique users, registrations, bookings, and revenue," Excite chief executive George Bell said in a statement.

The company's earnings were released on a day that saw a sharp run-up in Net stocks.