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Fatbrain.com looks sharp in first quarter

Fatbrain.com Inc. (Nasdaq: FATB) posted a smaller-than-expected loss in its first quarter Wednesday, losing $5.2 million, or 46 cents a share, on sales of $6.1 million.

First Call consensus expected the Sunnyvale, Calif. company to lose 50 cents a share in the quarter.

Fatbrain.com shares moved up 2 3/8, or 14 percent, to 19 3/8 ahead of the earnings report.

Fatbrain.com, which changed its name from Computer Literacy Inc. in March, reported online sales of $4.5 million in the quarter, more than 250 percent higher than the $1.8 million it recorded in the year-ago period.

Total sales of $6.1 million represent a 40 percent jump versus the year-ago period when it lost $1.2 million, or 25 cents a share, on sales of $4.4 million.

In the quarter, Fatbrain.com added more than 25,000 customers, raising the total number of customers to just over 103,000.

"Significant increases in the amount of traffic to our site indicate that the consumer response to our new name and our new branding campaign has been excellent," said CEO Chris MacAskill in a prepared release. "Our commitment to serving the online business-to-business market and the expansion of our offerings to include additional professional categories has also been favorably received."

Fatbrain.com shares hit a 52-week high of 31 5/8 in March after falling to a low of 11 3/8 in January.

Both analysts following the stock rate it a "strong buy."

First Call consensus expects it to lose $1.88 a share in the fiscal year.>