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Egreetings stock surges after Microsoft deal

Shares of the online greeting card company jump more than 80 percent after Microsoft agrees to license its services.

Shares of Egreetings jumped more than 80 percent today after Microsoft agreed yesterday to license the company's online greeting card services.

Egreetings stock surged $1.31 to $3.69 midday. The company's shares have traded as high as $16.25 and as low as $2.31 during the past 52 weeks.

Microsoft's MSN Web site will allow visitors to use Egreetings to send free online cards. The company said the agreement represents its largest licensing deal to date.

The deal is a much-needed boost for Egreetings, which competes in a crowded market. The company faces competition from e-card companies such as Excite@Home's Blue Mountain Arts and Amazon.com. Traditional greeting card companies such as Hallmark and American Greetings have also made their marks online.

Most of these companies offer e-cards free of charge and rely on other ways to generate revenues, including advertising and allowing customers to purchase gifts. Companies such as Blue Mountain and Amazon have the upper hand over standalone sites such as Egreetings because of the traffic they draw from their extensive services.