Stock Watch: RealNetworks Exceeds Expectations

After gaining 11 to close at 157-7/8 on Tuesday, shares of streaming media company RealNetworks (Nasdaq: RNWK) gained 6-1/8 to 164 in early trading today. After the markets closed on Tuesday, RealNetworks announced fourth quarter earnings of $6.1 million, or seven cents per share. That figure was two cents better than analysts had expected.

Sales growth was strong, with fourth quarter net revenues climbing to $43.5 million — an increase of 111 percent from the $20.6 million reported in the fourth quarter of 1998, when RealNetworks lost $2.2 million, or three cents per share. RealNetworks also announced a two-for-one stock split on Tuesday.

In addition, RealNetworks said Tuesday that it has purchased privately held Netzip, which develops Internet download management and utility software, for about 1.7 million shares of stock.

On Tuesday, Kaufman Brothers initiated coverage of RealNetworks with a buy rating.

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