Ebookers.com soars on earnings, Rediff.com reports

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Ebookers.com (Nasdaq: EBKR), a European online travel specialist, announced second quarter results and said it will reach profitability ahead of schedule. It still needs $39 million in funding to get there though.

Shares rose 2 3/4 to 9 1/4; the stock got a boost in February after it inked a multi-year, multi-million dollar deal with AOL Europe, under which it will pay the company $24 million over two years.

The company said sales were $54.9 million, an increase of 876 percent compared 1999's $5.7 million. Loss per ADR, or american depository receipt for the second quarter was 5.9 cents, 28 percent better than estimated market expectations of 8.2 cents a share.

The company cited revenue and gross profit above expectations for the three financial quarters since its IPO in November, and rocketing customer numbers and transaction sizes as reasons profit would come sooner than expected. The company now expects to have positive cash flow in fourth quarter of 2001 or first quarter 2002 -- instead of market expectations of 2003.

Ebookers also said the better-than-expected results will allow it to reduce its future financing requirements, but it still needs an additional $39 million to take it to profitability. At the time of its IPO in November, the company said it would need $60 million to $80 million by the end of 2000. It now has over $6 million in a private placement, including a substantial management contribution, to cover expenses into the first quarter 2001.

Another overseas Internet company, Rediff.com India Limited (Nasdaq: REDF), also announced quarterly results.

Shares were up 5/8 to 15.

The India-based portal said revenue for the quarter ended June 2000 increased to $873,000, up 231 percent over the corresponding quarter 1999. Revenues grew by 53 percent compared to the previous quarter, 1999. Page views for the quarter, increased by 70 percent over the previous quarter, and gross margins were maintained at 60 percent plus.

Net loss on a weighted average was even at about 14 cents per ADR.

In mid-June, Rediff.com signed a deal with Nike, making Nike's India online shopping site available to Indians exclusively through Rediff.com.

First Call has no quarterly estimates for the company, but expects it to loose 43 cents a share for the year.