Tech Industry

PurchasePro.com sees upside surprise

PurchasePro.com (Nasdaq: PPRO), a business-to-business e-commerce company, said Thursday that it should beat consensus estimates for the first quarter. First Call's consensus poll of six analysts predicts a loss of 28 cents a share.

In a statement, PurchasePro.com, which provides browser-based e-commerce applications, didn't offer a lot of specific guidance. Charles E. Johnson, Jr., CEO of PurchasePro.com, said in a statement that revenue was "tracking significantly ahead of Wall Street's forecasts, with a high recurring component and very high gross profit margins."

Prudential Volpe Whelan analyst Timothy Getz is estimating revenue of $3.6 million for the first quarter ending March 31. For fiscal 2000, Getz is estimating revenue of $27 million.

Prudential Volpe, which rates PurchasePro.com a "strong buy" with a price target of $225, has underwriting ties to the company.

Shares of PurchasePro.com have soared along with other B2B stocks such as Ariba (Nasdaq: ARBA), i2 (Nasdaq: ITWO), Commerce One (Nasdaq: CMRC), FreeMarkets (Nasdaq: FMKT) and VerticalNet (Nasdaq: VERT). Since going public in September, the company has issued a 3-for-2 stock split and completed a secondary offering of stock.

On Monday, PurchasePro.com inked a partnership with America Online (NYSE: AOL). Under the 3-year deal, AOL will provide small businesses with a browser-based business exchange platform powered by PurchasePro.com's technology. Getz said the AOL pact could result in a strong recurring revenue stream. >