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Pixar shares jump on spectacular 3Q results

    Shares of Pixar Animation Studios Inc. (Nasdaq: PIXR) shot up 5 3/8, or 14 percent, to 43 1/4 Tuesday, one day after it blew away analysts' estimates in its third quarter.

    Pixar pocketed $32.3 million, or 63 cents a share, on sales of $79.2 million.

    First Call consensus expected it to earn 29 cents a share in the quarter.

    Company officials credited the blow out quarter to stronger-than-expected demand for video copies of "A Bug's Life."

    The company says it expects to post 1999 earnings of at least 85 cents a share, which would exceed the consensus estimate by 12 cents a share.

    In the year-ago quarter, Pixar earned $867,000, or 2 cents a share, on sales of $2.5 million.

    Investors will also be keeping a close eye on "Toy Story 2" the sequel to the 1995 hit, which will be released later this year.

    Its shares moved up to a 52-week high of 53 3/4 in November before falling to a low of 33 in August.

    Eight of the nine analysts following the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation. >