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Ariba Beats Expectations

The business-to-business Internet software company said it lost $11.5 million, or 6 cents a diluted share.
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Ariba

(ARBA)

reported a quarterly loss Wednesday that was smaller than Wall Street's projections, as the revenues increased more than fourfold.

The business-to-business or B2B Internet software company said it lost $11.5 million, or 6 cents a diluted share, in its second fiscal quarter, excluding one-time charges. That loss was narrower than the 8-cent loss analysts surveyed by

First Call/Thomson Financial

had been expecting.

A year earlier, when there were less shares outstanding, Ariba posted a loss of $2.8 million, or 7 cents a share, excluding special items.

The results were released after the stock market closed. Ariba's shares rallied 3 1/8, or 4%, to 75 1/8 in after-hour trading, according to

Instinet

. Ariba had ended regular trading down 9 9/16, or 12%, at 72, under the weight of the stumbling

Nasdaq

market.

Revenues rose to $40 million, from $12.4 million a year earlier.

Including one-time charges, Ariba lost $125.9 million, or 70 cents a share from acquisition costs. The company reported a net loss of $5.8 million in the year-earlier period.

Ariba, based in Mountain View, Calif., signed deals with

Dell

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,

IBM

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,

American Express

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and others in the latest quarter.

Calling the quarter a "watershed period," Keith Krach, Ariba's chairman and chief executive, said, "we also positioned the company for future growth by broadening our B2B e-commerce platform, adding critical value-added services, completing two strategic acquisitions and forging partnerships with significant industry players."

Ariba completed the acquisitions of

Tradex Technologies

and

TradingDynamics

in the quarter.

In the near term, though, the volatile Nasdaq has forced investors and analysts to reassess their appraisal of the B2B sector. Since hitting a high of 183 5/16 in early March, Ariba has fallen more than 60%.

On Monday,

Safeguard Scientifics

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, a Web site investment company, said it planned to stop investing in B2B e-commerce companies to concentrate on infrastructure firms. The news drove down Ariba's stock about 12%, while rival

Commerce One

(CMRC)

lost 15%.