Shares in companies that handle transactions between businesses
jumped in early trading today but later reversed course.
In afternoon trading, shares in Walnut Creek, Calif.-based Commerce One were up more than 55
to 311.75, a gain of more than 20 percent. But when the market closed, the shares had plunged, closing at 250, down 6.44.
Shares in Commerce One, which makes
business-to-business software that allows companies to buy and sell goods
online, climbed yesterday as
high as 271 on heavy volume of 8.3 million shares. Also yesterday, the
company completed a 3-for-1 stock split.
Commerce One's run had spilled over to rival Mountain View, Calif.-based
Ariba, whose shares rose nearly 12 percent in afternoon trading, setting a
new all-time high. Ariba's board also recently set a 2-for-1 stock split.
But also like Commerce One, Ariba's shares retreated to close at 183, gaining just 0.25 point.
The stall in the rally follows an active month for business-to-business companies, which have stepped into the spotlight with announcements of partnerships and new deals.
Earlier this month, Ariba acquired privately held Tradex, a
software developer that matches large numbers of buyers and sellers online,
in a stock deal worth $1.86 billion. With the acquisition, Ariba said it
will expand its offerings for building Net markets or trading exchanges.
Recently, several companies have jumped into the business-to-business
market, including Oracle and SAP. One reason: Forrester Research expects the
business-to-business industry to expand to $1.52 trillion in 2003 from
about $131 billion this year.
In early November, Oracle announced an online venture with auto giant Ford. The two companies said they are forming a venture called AutoXchange that will
connect the car maker to its global materials and parts suppliers via the
Net. The online marketplace is meant to help Ford streamline $80 billion in
purchases from more than 30,000 suppliers.
On the same day Oracle partnered with Ford, Commerce One inked a deal with General Motors to
create a similar site. Under the deal, GM said it will use Commerce One
products to create GM MarketSite, a "virtual marketplace" for products, raw
materials, parts and services.
A few weeks ago, German software giant SAP launched plans for an online health
marketplace with partner Neoforma.com.
SAP also plans to start a marketplace for material repairs and supplies for
the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. SAP said chemical giant BASF
will join the marketplace as a buyer, along with healthcare equipment seller