Tech Industry

E-commerce firms at a loss

Someone may make money on Internet commerce some day, but so far it's not the software companies specializing in online financial transactions.

Someone may make money on Internet commerce some day, but so far it's not the software companies specializing in online financial transactions.

Open Market (OMKT) and Connect (CNKT) both reported quarterly losses today, a day after Broadvision (BVSN) likewise reported a loss for the quarter ended September 30.

But Open Market and BroadVision beat analyst estimates for the quarter, according to the investment research network First Call, while Connect's report matched Wall Street's expectation. Reflecting the hot IPO market for Internet companies, all three have gone public since May.

Open Market reported $6.7 million in third quarter revenues, but lost $5.8 million, or 21 cents a share, slightly better than Wall Street's expected 23-cent-a-share loss. Revenues for 1995's third quarter were $539,000, with a loss of $2.9 million.

Compared to the prior quarter ending June 30, Open Market's revenues grew 42 percent from $4.7 million, while its loss narrowed slightly from $6.6 million, or 24 cents a share.

Open Market specializes in software that lets large service companies such as telecommunications and financial firms offer Internet transactions. Signing to use Open Market software last quarter were AT&T, electronics distributor AMP, OneWave, Trilogy Development Group, and CM Telecommunications, Italy's largest Internet service provider.

Connect, in its first quarter since going public, reported $2.9 million in revenues and a loss of $3.9 million, or 23 cents a share, as Wall Street had expected. In the third quarter of 1995, Connect had $727,000 in revenues and a $4 million loss.

Connect, which went public in August, brought Fruit of the Loom and Readers Digest live on the Web using its software during the quarter. It also opened sales offices in Europe and Asia.

BroadVision's reported quarterly revenues of $3.1 million and a loss of $2.7 million, or 13 cents a share, beating the Wall Street consensus of a 14-cent loss per share. Revenues outside North America accounted for 48 percent of the quarter's total.

Broadvision's third quarter revenues grew 35 percent from the second quarter's $2.3 million. First-quarter revenues were $1.4 million. The third quarter loss of $2.7 million compared to $2.2 million in the second quarter.

During the quarter, BroadVision signed license agreements with 14 new customers, including US West and Epsilon in the United States, Grolier and Swiss Online in Europe, and Resort Trust and Dacom Interpark in Asia. BroadVision now has customers in financial services, retail, publishing, online services, telecommunications, travel, direct marketing, and consumer goods.