After more than a few bumps, Web companies are turning profitable. Once they're in the black, earnings can rise quickly because each extra sale requires little new spending.
OVERTURE SERVICES (No. 73)
The search engine's first-quarter revenues jumped 175%, to $143 million, while expenses rose 93%. Result: First-quarter profits of $29.3 million, vs. a $6.7 million loss a year earlier.
EBAY (No. 83)
The auction site shows that operating leverage can rise even after a company is big. First-quarter sales were up 59%, to $245 million, as costs rose just 39%. Result: Profits jumped to $47.6 million, from $21.1 million a year ago.
HOTELS.COM (No. 86)
The hotel-reservation site boosted first-quarter sales 57%, to $165 million, while profits jumped sevenfold, to $12.9 million. The company expects earnings of about $60 million for the year.
EXPEDIA (No. 87)
The travel site's first-quarter sales climbed 103%, to $116 million, while expenses were up 8%. That helped the company make a $5.7 million profit, vs. a $20 million loss a year ago.