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Micromuse's earnings inspire investors

The maker of network management software jumps 30 percent after posting a surge in fourth-quarter earnings yesterday.

Micromuse's stock climbed nearly 30 percent today after the network management software firm said its fourth-quarter revenue doubled.

Micromuse's stock rose 20.25 to close at 92.62 today as the company benefited from a strong fourth quarter, results of which were posted yesterday. The emerging company raked in a profit of $2.1 million, or 12 cents a share, and beat Wall Street analysts' predictions by one penny.

"These guys are on fire," analyst Paul Rodriguez, of C.E. Unterberg Towbin.

Micromuse, which had its initial public offering in February 1998, targets telecommunications carriers and Internet service providers with software that monitors the health of their networks. The software scans network devices and ensures that services, such as email, Internet, and phone access, don't go down.

The company competes with Hewlett-Packard, as well as Concord Communications, Avesta, and Conduct Software Technologies, among others.

Micromuse's fourth-quarter revenue doubled from $9.6 million last year to $19.6 million as the company increased sales to its existing customers, such as America Online, British Telecom, and AT&T, company executives said. The company also signed new deals with Internet companies, such as EarthWeb, and high-speed Internet access provider Covad Communications.

Rodriguez said he believes Micromuse will continue to thrive.

"People aren't buying [Micromuse's stock] on the results. They're buying on what the future holds," he said. "The company's main source of revenue are from ISPs and carriers, and they all have an accelerated need for Micromuse's products."