RealTime IT News

E-Commerce Companies Steal the Stage

Shares of electronic commerce plays were higher in midday trading Monday on a wave of deals, kicking off a week that will be flooded with earnings announcements.

Just after 1 p.m., internet.com's Internet Stock Index had fallen 10.51, or 1.91 percent, to 540.56, the Nasdaq Composite was off 20.93 to 2,843.55 and the Dow Jones industrial average was off 15.51 to 11,194.33.

Ticketmaster Online CitySearch (TMCS) was up 7 to 41. The online ticket seller and Microsoft Corp. Monday reached a deal that will give Ticketmaster the city guides in MSN's Sidewalk. Microsoft will also take a 9 percent stake in TMCS, which could go as high as 13 percent if all warrants are exercised.

Ticketmaster will also develop localized arts and entertainment guides that will be delivered on a new MSN local channel.

Priceline.com Inc. (PCLN) was up 3-27/32 to 101-1/4 after reporting better-than-expected second-quarter revenues. The company also reached a deal with Continental Airlines to offer that carrier's tickets on its service.

CyberSource Corp. (CYBS) jumped 4-1/2 to 34-1/2. JP Morgan initiated coverage on the online transaction processor with a "buy" rating as did Merrill Lynch and PaineWebber.

AdForce Inc. (ADFC) soared 4-5/8 to 33-5/8. The company reported a quarterly loss of 40 cents a share, well ahead of the $1.62 in the year-ago period.

E*Trade Group Inc. (EGRP) fell 2-1/16 to 35-7/16 despite reporting higher-than-expected quarterly results. The online broker lost 10 cents a share in the third quarter, 2 cents ahead of analyst estimates.

Elsewhere in the sector, Ameritrade Holding Corp. (AMTD) lost 2 to 32-1/4, Charles Schwab (SCH) dropped 2-1/2 to 49-15/16 and National Discount Brokers Group Inc. (NDB) shed 4 to 44-7/16.

America Online Inc. (AOL) was unchanged after announcing plans to launch a free service in Europe. The company is set to report earnings on Wednesday.

Several other sector leaders were down, including Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) off 1-1/16 to 149-3/16, CMGI Inc. (CMGI) down 5-9/16 to 103-3/4, eBay Inc. (EBAY) down 3-11/32 to 119-5/8, Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) off 4-3/16 to 133-7/16 and Inktomi Corp. (INKT) off 7-1/4 to 115-3/4.

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