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Network Solutions jumps after DOJ backs off

    Network Solutions Inc. (Nasdaq: NSOL) rallied up 18 15/16, or 9 percent, to 235 13/16 Tuesday after the Justice Department said that it had closed its investigation into the registrar of Internet domain names.

    The main issue being looked at by the Department of Justice was how much of its database of Web addresses the registrar must share with new competitors.

    Last September, Network Solutions agreed to share its list of domain names with competitors such as Register.com and America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL).

    Network Solutions had claimed exclusive rights to the database, which was largely compiled under its one-time exclusive government contract to register domain names under the .com, .net and .edu addresses.

    "Simply said they told us no action would be taken," said spokesman Brian O'Shaughnessy, referring to DOJ ending the probe. "It's difficult to estimate what the potential action could have been. We were watching it closely and were confident."

    Last quarter, Network Solutions earned $7.3 million, or 21 cents a share, on sales of $59.3 million.

    First Call consensus expects it to earn 23 cents a share in its fourth quarter.

    Its shares moved up to a 52-week high of 287 3/4 in January after falling to a low of 49 in June.

    All 13 analysts tracking the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.

    Reuters contributed to this report.