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eFax snaps out of recent losing streak

After losing more than half their value in the past three weeks, shares of eFax.com Inc. (Nasdaq: EFAX) hustled up 2 9/16, or 19 percent, to 16 1/8 after CEO Rudy Prince said the company was on track to meet second-quarter estimates.

eFax, which provides free fax-to-email services, was trading at an all-time high of 33 in late April before its recent collapse.

It didn't help that the Menlo Park, Calif. company's first-quarter sales were basically flat compared to the year-ago quarter.

In its first quarter, eFax lost $1.3 million, or 11 cents a share, on sales of $7.8 million, just 1 percent higher than the $7.7 million it recorded in the first quarter of 1998.

On Tuesday, eFax said COO Rob Pollack had resigned from his post. No further details were provided.

But the stock's dismal performance forced the company to make some kind of statement.

"Management does not see any fundamental change in our business and is continuing to execute on its business plan," Prince said in a prepared release. "eFax.com has signed up over 600,000 users since the service was introduced February 8, 1999, clearly making eFax a significant new force in Internet communications."

First Call consensus expects eFax to lose 16 cents a share in its second quarter and 60 cents a share in the fiscal year.

"With respect to the departure of our recently appointed COO last week, this change after only 60 days is not material to the future of our business," Prince said. "It was a poor fit that we resolved quickly."

Both analysts following the stock rate it a "hold."

In November, the stock was trading at 1 7/16.