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Infoseek delivers on traffic, revenue growth

Infoseek Corp. (Nasdaq: SEEK) improved on its traffic and the revenue growth in its fiscal third quarter. The company reported Tuesday revenue of $36.1 million in the quarter, up 22 percent from the second quarter.

The revenue gains will be a welcome sight for Infoseek supporters. In the second quarter, revenue for Infoseek actually fell.

But the earnings report is largely of the lame duck variety. Just last week, the Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) said it will merge its Internet properties with Infoseek, rename the entity Go.com and create a new stock to track the portal.

On a conference call outgoing Infoseek CEO Harry Motro said the revenue growth was an indicator of the cross-media advertising buys that are possible on the Go Network. "The sales force came together as a team," he said.

The Infoseek-Disney Go Network averaged 52 million daily page views in June, up from 42 million in March, the company said. The Go Network now has 14 million registered users after six months, up from eight million when the service started.

Infoseek also said Go.com can hang on to users longer with users spending about 29 minutes on the service a month, up from 12 minutes when Go launched. The company said Go.com is "stickier" because of new features such as message boards, free home pages.

"If you've been on our site in the last six months you can see the changes," said Motro, who will leave the company when the Disney deal closes in the fourth quarter.

On its bottom line, Infoseek reported a hefty loss, but beat Wall Street estimates. Excluding a $29 million charge, the company had a loss of $22.3 million, or 36 cents a share. First Call consensus called for a loss of 42 cents a share.

Including charges Infoseek lost $51.3 million, or 83 cents per share, an improvement from the loss of 93 cents a share in the second quarter. In the third quarter a year ago, Infoseek lost $1.3 million, or 4 cents a share.