Tech Industry

McAfee.com gains on NBCi pact, virus outbreak

McAfee.com shares moved up 3 1/2, or 16 percent, to 25 3/4 Thursday after announcing an alliance with NBCi to provide a variety of PC maintenance services to small businesses through the portal's AllBusiness.com site.

McAfee.com, a wholly owned subsidiary of Network Associates (Nasdaq: NETA), will offer its McAfee Clinic software to surfers looking to clean their hard drives, scan for viruses and update their anti-virus software online.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The deal will make it easier for customers to buy software from McAfee.com (Nasdaq: MCAF) while increasing traffic to NBCi's (Nasdaq: NBCI) portal site.

NBCi shares fell 1 1/4 to 20 3/4 Thursday afternoon.

McAfee.com members will also gain access AllBusiness.com's information and services in a planned business center on the McAfee.com site.

McAfee.com shares stormed up more than 250 percent in its December initial public offering.

However, its shares fell from a 52-week high of 63 3/4 in March to below 16 in April.

In its latest quarter, McAfee.com posted a loss of 14 cents a share on sales of $10.3 million.

Security software stocks got an unexpected boost Thursday after numerous computer systems were shut down by an email virus considered to be far more dangerous than the "Melissa" virus.

Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) shares moved up 1 7/16 to 59 15/16 while Computer Associates (NYSE: CA) and Network Associates (Nasdaq: NETA) shares moved up 7/16 and 1 1/16 a share, respectively.

Analysts expect McAfee.com to lose 14 cents a share in its second quarter and 53 cents a share in the fiscal year.