Snyder Communications Inc., in its first earnings report since spinning off its health-care division, said third-quarter revenue rose 24 percent above comparable 1998 results but net income dropped to $9.5 million (13 cents a share), down 31 percent from $13.9 million (20 cents) in the same quarter in 1998.

The third-quarter results also include a loss of $547,000 related to Snyder Communications' 20 percent stake in Circle.com, its Internet services operation, which is scheduled to begin trading Friday as a tracking stock, if regulators approve. Circle.com is now trading on a when-issued basis.

Daniel M. Snyder, chief executive of the Bethesda-based marketing company and majority owner of the Washington Redskins, did not comment on the drop in earnings.

The earnings were a shade ahead of the 12-cents-per-share consensus forecast, according to First Call/Thomson Financial. While revenue increased 24 percent, to $156 million, from $125.4 million in the third quarter of 1998, costs and expenses rose faster, eroding profit.

Results for Circle.com were reported as if the change of the Web operations to a tracking stock had already occurred. On that basis, Circle.com had revenue of $10.2 million in the third quarter, up from $4.1 million in the same period a year ago. But operating expenses totaled $15 million, leaving a loss of $4.8 million from operations. The after-tax loss for Circle.com shareholders was $2.2 million, or 11 cents a share.

Snyder Communications closed at $14.37 1/2 a share, down 31 1/4 cents. Circle.com closed at $13.37 1/2, down $1.56 1/4; and Ventiv Health Inc., the health-care spinoff, closed at $7.37 1/2, off 12 1/2 cents. It will take a while for investors to come to grips with the three-way sectioning of Snyder Communications, particularly the split-off of Ventiv, said Steven Bregman, a securities analyst with the Spin-Off Report in New York. "They're almost both like spinoffs," he said, referring to Snyder and Ventiv.