US Report: Infoseek's First-Quarter Loss Smaller Than Expected

Infoseek last week reported a loss of $1.5m (£0.89m), or $0.05 per share, on sales of $14.3 (£8.51m) in its first quarter, much less than most analysts had expected.

First Call in the US, expected the Internet search firm to report a loss of $0.10 per share in the quarter.

Infoseek shares lost $4.19 (£2.50) per share, or 13 percent, to $28.44 (£16.92) ahead of the earning report.

The $14.3 million in sales represents a 131 percent increase from the $6.2 (£3.70m) it reported in the first quarter of 1997.

"This was a tremendous quarter for Infoseek," said chief executive Harry Motro in a prepared release. "We made significant progress toward our goal of becoming everyone's first choice on the Internet."

Infoseek shares more than doubled in the first two weeks of April, climbing from $20 (£11.90) per share to a high of $45 (£26.80) per share. Infoseek's traffic rose by 41 percent from the fourth quarter to an average of 17.3 million page views a day in the month of March.

Three of the five institutional brokerage firms following Infoseek maintain a "buy" rating on the stock while the other two rate it a "hold." Analysts expect the company to lose $0.17 per share in fiscal 1998 but earn $0.27 per share in fiscal 1999.