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Commerce One tops 1Q forecasts

    Commerce One (Nasdaq: CMRC) lost less than analysts expected in the first quarter.

    After market close Wednesday, the provider of online technology for business-to-business marketplaces reported a first quarter loss of $14 million, or 9 cents per share, excluding non-operating charges.

    Those figures reflect a 2-for-1 stock split that took effect Wednesday. First Call's published survey of 19 analysts predicted a loss of 24 cents per share on a pre-split basis. Factoring in the effects of the split, the consensus estimate called for a loss of 12 cents per share, or 3 cents more than Commerce One's actual results, not counting non-operating costs.

    Including all expenses, Commerce One lost $12.3 million, or 14 cents per share.

    Shares of Commerce One traded as high as 98 1/16 in afterhours activity on the Island electronic communications network, immediately following the quarterly report. The stock closed Wednesday's regular trading at 95 7/16, up 13 1/16 for the session.

    "We wanted to kick off this year with a great announcement, and we've done it," company CEO Mark Hoffman said during a Wednesday afternoon conference call with analysts. "Today, Commerce One clearly dominates the trading exchange market."

    First quarter revenue rose to $35 million, up 107 percent sequentially and up 1,564 percent year-over-year. License fee revenue of $27.1 million comprised 77 percent of overall revenue. Services generated revenue of $7.9 million.

    Revenue in the first quarter topped revenue for all of 1999, CFO Peter Pervere noted.

    The company more than doubled its customer base, adding 70 clients to bring the total to 135.

    Despite the upbeat results, Commerce One doesn't intend to move up its timetable for reaching profitability, Pervere told analysts.

    "We will continue to re-invest our revenue overachievement very significantly," said Pervere, adding that Commerce One's currently expects to break even in the fourth quarter of 2001.

    Commerce One is the fourth well-known B2B commerce specialist to recently report strong quarterly results. FreeMarkets (Nasdaq: FMKT) and i2 Technologies (Nasdaq: ITWO) announced better-than-expected numbers on Tuesday. Ariba (Nasdaq: ARBA) a week ago released second quarter figures ahead of published forecasts.

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