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Stamps.com Sees Internet Postage As 'Viable'

Stamps.com lost nary a moment after rival E-Stamp exited the Internet postage business, issuing a statement saying that it "continues to lead the category with 80 percent of all customers using Internet Postage."

"The software-based solution offered by Stamps.com is clearly the preferred service in the marketplace," crowed Seth Oster, vice president of corporate communications. "We welcome E-Stamp's customers to join the more than 270,000 customers using our software-only service."

E-Stamp had another idea, however, and signed a deal referring its customers to French postal equipment maker Neopost Online, encouraging them to adopt Neopost's Internet Postage solution, called "Simply Postage."

E-Stamp said on Monday that it is "phasing out" its Internet postage product line and will instead focus on its Web-based shipping and logistics solutions.

Oster went on to say in a press release that "We believe Internet Postage remains a viable emerging opportunity. The U.S. Postal Rate Commission echoed our confidence last week by recommending the creation of a new mail class that would carry a discounted rate for First Class mail sent through our service. As with any new technology, widespread adoption takes place over time.

"Coupled with our online shipping services and cash reserves of more than $250 million, we are in a strong position to grow our core businesses and take our company to profitability," he said.

Profitability certainly could not come any too soon, however. Stamps.com, which has never made any money, was trading at $2.84 this morning. Its 52-week high is $98.50. The company laid off 240 workers in October, two weeks after Chief Executive Officer John Payne and several other top execs all quit.



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