OutpostAuctions.com will function as a stand-alone site for registered bidders and will be linked from Cyberian Outpost's home page. The site will feature some three dozen products, including Palm Pilots, Nintendo 64, and iMacs, and will expand the product offering over the short term.
Shares of Oupost surged 38.51 percent or 7.13 points to 25.63 in morning trading. The stock has traded as high as 45.5 and as low as 5.94 during the past 52 weeks.
Research firm Jupiter Communications projects the online auction market to grow to 6.5 million purchasers buying $3.2 billion of merchandise by 2002. In 1998, online shoppers purchased more than $461 million in merchandise from auction sites, with PC hardware and software together accounting for 12.9 percent of that total.
"OutpostAuctions.com is a natural extension of our core strategy to grow our customer base, we believe this new offering will appeal to a new universe of shoppers enticed by the auction experience," said Outpost chief executive Darryl Peck in a statement. "With the growing interest in online auctions, we are excited to offer a new shopping experience that capitalizes on this demand, offering customers the opportunity to bid for computer-related products."
The company earlier this month said it expects revenue for the quarter ended February 28 to be about $33 million, up from $8.1 million a year earlier. Outpost also sees 1999 revenue of $85 million on higher spending on sales and marketing to attract customers. The company said it added 70,000 new customers in the quarter, bringing its total to 280,000.
Outpost is expected to lose 39 cents a share for the quarter, according to the average estimate of three analysts surveyed by First Call. The company did not announce preliminary earnings, but said it would report earnings early next month.