B2B: Stocks Looking Less and Less Alike
|The Race to Profitability|
With the froth of late last year a distant memory, investors in business-to-business e-commerce stocks are starting to make sense of what these companies do. Analysts expect that, as a result, they'll start to make informed choices between software makers such as Commerce One (CMRC), for instance, and market makers like VerticalNet (VERT) or PurchasePro (PPRO).
Meanwhile, setting up exchanges that merely list product availability and prices is quickly becoming so, well, 1999. The new buzz in B2B hinges on completing transactions online. That could mean accepting online payments, linking separate companies' receiving and shipping departments, or permitting online collaboration on manufacturing projects.So B2B isn't just about buying and selling anymore. Or, investors hope, at least it's not just about selling.
|The Race to Profitability |
|Company||Positive cash flow?*||Cash to get there?^||Cash on hand ($ millions)#||Cash remaining (quarters)~||Price/sales ratio+|
|1. Ariba (ARBA:Nasdaq)||Yes||--||249||N/A||92|
|2. i2 Technologies (ITWO:Nasdaq)||Yes||--||638||N/A||29|
|3. Commerce One (CMRC:Nasdaq)||Q2 2000||Yes||97||10||70|
|4. VerticalNet (VERT:Nasdaq)||Q3 2001||Yes||200||8||57|
|5. Agile Software (AGIL:Nasdaq)||Q4 2001||Yes||311||119||35|
|6. E.piphany (EPNY:Nasdaq)||Q4 2001||Yes||425||101||52|
|7. PurchasePro (PPRO:Nasdaq)||Q4 2001||Yes||136||12||47|
|8. webMethods (WEBM:Nasdaq)||Q4 2001||++||198||++||33|
|9. FreeMarkets (FMKT:Nasdaq)||Q4 2002||Yes||174||15||34|
|10. Ventro (VNTR:Nasdaq)||2003||Yes||365**||15||10|
|Source: Companies, analysts, Securities and Exchange Commission filings. |
*Positive operating cash flow in most recent quarter. If not, when company and analysts project company will reach that threshold.
^At current burn rate, excluding loans, will cash last through cash-flow-positive target?
#At end of most recent quarter, including short-term investments.
~Quarters of cash left at current cash-burn rate.
+As of May 31.
**Includes $242.5 million raised in an April 3 debt offering.
++Not immediately available; data couldn't be found.
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