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Job Cuts Seen Likely at Commerce One

Stock of e-marketplace company Commerce One was on the down escalator this morning after the company said third-quarter earnings and revenues would come in below estimates. Goldman, Sachs analysts said they foresee layoffs at the firm.

The Pleasanton, Calif.-based company, which sells e-marketplace software and services and operates a Global Trading Web of interconnected business communities, said that it projects a third-quarter loss of 24 to 25 cents a share, excluding non-operating charges.

Analysts on average had been expecting a loss of 23 cents a share. The company said it expects revenues of $80 million to $83 million, falling off on slack demand in Europe and Asia.

In mid-morning trading, the stock was down 25 cents to $2.56 after closing Monday at $2.81. Its 52-week high is $75.75.

Goldman, Sachs, in an advisory to clients, said today that the company did not give guidance past the September quarter nor did it outline any cost-cutting initiatives. "However we believe that a 10 to15 percent headcount reduction is likely in the works," GS said, adding that "we remain concerned about the short-term outlook for (the company) and the broader sector of marketplace/procurement vendors."

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown analysts, meanwhile, said they now expect Commerce One to post a 2002 loss of 27 cents a share, compared with an earlier forecast of a loss of 9 cents a share. Job cuts likely will focus on services, sales and marketing, and general and administrative areas, analysts there were quoted as saying.

"While poor economic conditions persist in slowing sales cycles, we continue to invest in our long-term strategy for delivering the premier e-commerce platform and achieving profitability," said Mark Hoffman, chairman and CEO of Commerce One. "...We will also continue to balance our cost structure with the current economic environment to enable a clear path to profitability."