Stock Watch: About.com Dazzles The Street

Shares of About.com (Nasdaq: BOUT), which operates a network of niche vertical sites, soared more than 41 percent on Tuesday, gaining 25-15/16 to 89 one day after the company reported fourth quarter results that handily exceeded analysts’ expectations. About.com had fourth quarter revenue of $13 million, which was more than six times the revenue for the fourth quarter of 1998 and an increase of 65 percent over the $7.9 million reported in the third quarter.

For its most recent quarter, About.com had a net loss of $8.3 million, or 57 cents per share. Analysts had expected a loss of 81 cents per share.

About.com’s better-than-expected fourth quarter was driven by strong traffic. According to Media Metrix, the company had 12.6 million unique users in December, making it the ninth largest Web property. About.com recorded average daily page views of 8.2 million for December, compared with 5.3 million in September.

While the company is losing money, it still has time to execute its business plan. About.com raised $146 million in a stock offering during the fourth quarter.

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