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Safeguard Scientifics reports 1Q profit

    Safeguard Scientifics Inc. (NYSE: SFE) reported first quarter net income of 26 cents a share, topping last year's first quarter by 2 cents a share.

    Shares in the incubator for infrastructure companies closed at 41 1/16 Tuesday, having been cut in half since a 52-week high of 99 in March.

    Net income was $29.6 million, or 26 cents a share, on a diluted basis, compared with $24.1 million, or 24 cents a share in the same period last year. There were no estimates for the company.

    Revenue for the first quarter was $579 million compared with $503 million for the same period in 1999.

    Like Internet Capital Group (Nasdaq: ICGE), which Safeguard founded, the company's analysts don't bother trying to estimate quarterly results; it's too difficult to predict how much money ICG and other Internet incubators, such as CMGI (Nasdaq: CMGI) will get from bringing companies public.

    ICG will report earnings after Thursday's bell.

    Safeguard's accomplishments include a 3-for-1 stock split, a secondary offering that generated more than $400 million, the addition of 11 new partner companies, and the IPOs of eMerge Interactive (Nasdaq: EMRG) and Opus360 Corp. (Nasdaq: OPUS).

    Safeguard also raised $100 million from strategic partners IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Compaq (NYSE: CPQ), and increased its line of credit to $300 million. "This gives Safeguard a total of approximately $800 million available for acquisitions and other purposes," said senior vice president and CFO Gerald Blitstein in a statement.