The Net's Salsa Beat

StarMedia Network (STRM), the leading online network in Latin America, has regained star billing on Wall Street after reporting fourth-quarter results that beat analysts' expectations. The company posted a loss smaller than consensus estimates, as revenues jumped 60% from their third-quarter level. Also, customers' page views during the latest quarter leaped 45%, while the number of advertisers increased 85%. StarMedia stock, which had tumbled to 27 in late November, down from 52 in August, has rebounded to 45. With analysts raising revenue estimates for the next two years, the stock could well continue its upward momentum. The solid fourth-quarter results "confirm our view that StarMedia is well positioned to benefit from the explosion in Internet use in Latin America," says analyst Michael Morin of Merrill Lynch. Latin America is the world's fastest-growing Internet market.

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