Stock Watch: Analyst Rating Powers NBCi NBC Internet, Inc. (Nasdaq: NBCI)

NBC Internet, Inc. (Nasdaq: NBCI) gained 1 17/64 to 6 61/64 Monday following a reported analyst recommendation.

Bluestone Capital Partners LP reportedly reiterated a short-term market perform rating, along with a long-term outperform recommendation. The firm reportedly has a short-term price target for the stock of $25 and a long-term target of $35.

On Friday, the company, which handles the Internet operations of General Electric Co.’s NBC networks, reported strong results for the third quarter and issued an upbeat forecast for the rest of the year.

NBCi said revenue for the quarter totaled $31.3 million, up 58 percent from pro forma revenue of $19.8 million in the same quarter last year. The loss before charges, though, widened to $54.8 million, or 88 cents per share, from $17.1 million, or 87 cents, in the year-earlier quarter. Analysts were expecting the company to lose $1 per share.

San Francisco, California-based NBCi was launched in November 1999. NBC holds a 39.2 percent stake in its Internet affiliate.

NBCi recently reorganized operations to consolidate its properties under a single name and showcase their affiliation with the television network. The move was accompanied by a $50 million advertising blitz that began during the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.

NBCi said it expects a profit before charges in the fourth quarter of 2001 or the first quarter of 2002, about six months ahead of previous expectations. The company attributed the bullish forecast to the effects of recent cost cuts and a plan to operate, the company’s small-business B2B portal, as a stand-alone business.

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