Shares of NextCard Inc. surged more than 45% Thursday, heading up a strong day in financial stocks, after the online credit card issuer told investors it expects to turn a profit by the end of 2001, a year ahead of schedule.

At a meeting with investors, NextCard also said it expects revenues of $1 billion in 2003, implying a three-year annual revenue growth rate of 75%. "We are very excited about our company's long-term vision and growth prospects," said John Hashman, president and chief executive, in a press statement.

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