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Go2Net trumps Street's forecasts

Go2Net announces operating results that blow past Wall Street expectations, and adds that it plans to increase marketing expenditures going forward.

    Go2Net, a network of technology and community-driven Web sites, announced operating results for the fourth quarter that blew past Wall Street expectations, and added that it plans to increase marketing expenditures going forward which may affect short-term profitability.

    Go2Net pulled in a fourth quarter net of 2 cents per share, before nonrecurring merger and acquisition-related charges. A consensus of Wall Street analysts polled by First Call expected the company to post a loss of 10 cents per share. This result compares to a net loss of 9 cents per share for the year-ago quarter.

    The nonrecurring merger and acquisition-related charges are associated with the company's acquisition of Hypermart, a provider of free business hosting services.

    By pulling 12 cents per share ahead of expectations, Go2Net saw its revenues rise 47 percent to $1.96 million.

    Shares of Go2Net closed 5.36 percent higher at 29.5 ahead of its earnings news. The stock has traded as high as 39 and as low as 6.5 during the past 52 weeks.

    "While Go2Net is still in the very early stages of accomplishing its goals, we are pleased with the strong revenue and traffic growth this quarter and particularly pleased with achieving profitability," said Go2Net CEO Russell Horowitz in a statement. But he added that the company plans to push its overall market position by increasing brand recognition. "To this end, we will be increasing our marketing expenditures going forward, as well as expenditures in other appropriate areas, as we continue with our growth strategy."

    Horowitz said Go2Net will also continue to pursue acquisitions and other strategic relationships to expand product offerings.

    The move could affect short-term profitability, he added.

    The company recently announced it had selected Seattle-based Hadley Green Advertising for a series of national-level advertising campaigns.