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Multex.com grabs Market Guide for $157 million in stock

Multex.com Inc. (Nasdaq: MLTX) said Wednesday it will acquire online financial content provider Market Guide Inc. (Nasdaq: MARG) for $157 million in stock. Market Guide shareholders will receive approximately 5.6 million shares of Multex.com stock.

Trading of both stocks was halted on the Nasdaq exchange pending the announcement. Market Guide shares were off 3/4 to 22 1/4 while Multex.com was down 5/8 to 28 3/8.

The deal gives Multex.com access to Market Guide's financial content, including company profiles and financial data.

Multex.com's claim to fame is that it distributes research reports to online investors and brokerage firms.

In a prepared release, company officials said the deal "will enable Multex.com to leverage Market Guide's extensive Internet distribution network, unique financial content and brand."

In its latest fiscal year, Market Guide reported a profit of $1.7 million on sales of $8.8 million, up 24 percent from the prior year.

In March, Multex.com raised more than $42 million in its initial public offering. The stock subsequently charged up to a high of 71 1/2 in mid-April before sliding with the rest of the Internet sector.

It aggregates more than 1 million research reports from more than 400 investment banks, brokerage and other research firms around the world and resells them to some 600,000 clients, the company said in its S-1 filing to the Securities & Exchange Commission earlier this year.

In its latest quarter, Multex.com lost $3.6 million.

First Call consensus was expecting Multex.com to lose 14 cents a share in its second quarter and 53 cents a share in the fiscal year. Market Guide was expected to earn 7 cents a share in its first quarter and 33 cents a share in the fiscal year.