Time Running Out for Commerce One

Commerce One , which was worth $20 billion at the height of the dot-com boom, is down to its last $700,000, the company said in an SEC filing Wednesday.

“As of September 22, 2004, our unrestricted cash balance is approximately $700,000,” the company said in the filing. “Our operating expenses continue to significantly exceed our cash inflows and our recent efforts to raise additional equity or debt financing have been unsuccessful.

“We are currently considering our alternatives, including a significant reduction or discontinuation of our operations, other expense reductions, and/or a sale of all or a portion of our assets. We are currently pursuing discussions with potential buyers of our assets, including our supplier relationship management (SRM) business. We anticipate that we will eventually wind down our business and may file for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 or 7 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. In any such event, we do not expect that the amounts available to us will be sufficient to meet all of our debts and obligations, or that any amounts will be paid to our stockholders.”

The sobering news sent CMRC stock — already trading for less than $1 — plunging by 62%.

Business-to-business e-commerce stocks were once some of the hottest on Wall Street, but the sector was battered by the dot-com downturn. While Commerce One may be running out of cash, Ariba has more than $100 million in cash, and i2 has $300 million, although i2’s stock no longer trades on the Nasdaq National Stock Market.

Commerce One had more than $100 million in cash at the end of 2002, but resisted pleas to shut down and return that money to investors, saying it was convinced it could make a comeback.

Blue chips fell Thursday under the weight of rising jobless claims and falling leading economic indicators, but tech stocks finished the day unchanged. Also weighing on stocks was the release of the August Federal Reserve meeting minutes, which showed that the Fed plans “significant” rate hikes.

The Nasdaq was up less than a point to 1886, the S&P 500 lost 5 to 1108, and the Dow fell 70 to 10,038. Volume declined to 1.29 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.4 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 17-14 on the NYSE, and 16-14 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 66% on the NYSE, and 46% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 90-26 on the NYSE, and 52-49 on the Nasdaq.

After the close, PalmSource beat estimates but issued mixed guidance. Manugistics missed, and Applied Micro warned.

During the day, Cognos edged higher after beating estimates, and Global Payments surged on its results.

Terayon soared 19% after its cable products were cleared for sale in Europe.

August Technology plunged 16% on a warning, while Andrew rose despite warning.

Stamps.com lost 11% after canceling an investment conference appearance.

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