Stock Watch: Upbeat Forecast, Analyst Upgrades Power About.com

About.com (Nasdaq: BOUT) advanced 7 to 35 1/4 Thursday after the company, which operates a network of Web sites, reported stronger-than-expected results for the second quarter. Reports of analyst recommendations helped fuel the rise.

The New York-based About.com also said it expects a profit before items in the first quarter of next year, three months earlier than previously thought.

Revenue for the quarter surged 443 percent from a year earlier to $20.1 million, while the pro forma net loss narrowed to $5.9 million, or 33 cents per share, from $20.4 million, or $1.69.

The company, the seventh-largest Web property in the United States, had 17.9 million unique users in May, up 24 percent from March, as average daily page views increased 80 percent to 23.0 million.

“About.com’s size and vertical niche structure provide advertisers with one of the most efficient and targeted platforms with which to reach consumers,” wrote E*Offering analyst Patrick Winton, who repeated a strong buy rating on the stock after the report.

“Despite a slowdown in online advertising, we are confident About.com will continue to accelerate its revenue growth while improving its operating efficiencies,” Winton added.

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