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Egghead soars on MSN deal

Shares of rocket as much as 18 percent higher after the company says it has been signed as a premier computer software merchant on Microsoft's Web portal MSN.

Shares of rocketed as much as 18 percent higher in morning trading after the company announced it has been signed as a premier computer software merchant on Microsoft's Web portal MSN.

The software retailer who last year closed its brick-and-mortar operations to fly only on the Net, was up 13.36 percent to 19.63. The stock has traded as high as 40.25 and low as 4.31 during the past 52 weeks.

Egghead will be featured on MSN Shopping and have an advertising presence on MSN including MSN Computing Central, MSN Gaming Zone, MSN Expedia travel service, MSN CarPoint, and MSNBC.

"The Microsoft agreement is important," Egghead spokesman Jon Brodeur said in a statement. "For 15 years the Egghead brand has been synonymous with selling software.

"Software is one of the most popular products sold over the Internet today," Brodeur added. "We look forward to further increases in our market penetration as a result of this agreement with MSN."

Egghead's online software store is also linked to its Web computer, the Egghead SurplusDirect liquidation center, and Egghead Auctions.

"With Microsoft's substantial commitment to growing MSN, we believe MSN offers Egghead tremendous reach as well as the targeted shopping audience provided by MSN Shopping," Deborah Levinger, Microsoft business manager, said in a statement.

Egghead also has earlier marketing agreements with Yahoo, GeoCities, @Home Network, America Online, and others.

The company said that recent Media Metrix surveys indicate that Egghead ranked seventh in reach among the top shopping sites on the Web and is in the top 50 most frequently visited sites.