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China.com Posts Accidental Quarterly Profit

BRIEFLY / TECHNOLOGY

August 21, 1999|Associated Press

China.com, which went public last month amid criticism that its name was far catchier than its track record, said an inadvertent stock sale helped the Internet portal generate a $1.9-million second-quarter profit despite a loss from its operations. China.com said it pocketed $5.1 million when it bought back some shares in 24/7 Media Inc. that its brokers had inadvertently sold, giving it a net profit of $1.9 million for the quarter. But its operating loss widened to $3.5 million, from $2 million a year earlier, as revenue soared 174% to $2.4 million. China.com attracted a flurry of investors when it went public in mid-July, becoming the first Chinese-language Internet company to list in the United States. On its debut, shares were offered at $20 and rallied nearly 236% to $67.10. The early enthusiasm has waned, however. But the stock got a lift from the latest financial data, rising $3.50 to close at $35.50 on Nasdaq.

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