Former highflier

FreeMarkets

(FMKT)

reported on Monday a steep increase in first-quarter revenues that helped the business-to-business or B2B online auctioneer to post a lower-than-expected loss.

Separately, FreeMarkets announced a five-year agreement to provide car parts maker

Visteon

with access to its B2B network. FreeMarkets said the deal with Visteon, which parent company

Ford Motor

(F) - Get Report

plans to spin off in its entirety, was valued in the "multimillion dollar" range.

Freemarkets of Pittsburgh reported a first-quarter net loss of $8.4 million, or 24 cents a diluted share, not including stock-based expenses and noncash acquisition-related costs, compared with a loss of $492,000, or 4 cents a share, in the year-earlier period.

Wall Street had expected a loss of 28 cents a share, according to a survey conducted by First Call/Thomson Financial.

After charges, the company's first-quarter net loss totaled $18.1 million, or 51 cents a diluted share.

Revenues for the quarter surged 209%, to $10.8 million, from $3.5 million a year earlier.

The market was unmoved by the news, released following the close of trading, with the company's stock unchanged in after-hours trading after ending the session down 1 13/16, or 3.3%, at 52 3/4. During Monday's rocky trading session, FreeMarkets, a former stock market darling, hit a 52-week low of 39 1/2 before rebounding.

FreeMarkets wowed the market when it shares climbed 232, or 482%, to close at 280 on its first day of trading back in December. But since soaring to a high of 370 towards the end of 1999, the company's stock has been on the decline.

On Monday, FreeMarkets said it had 47 customers at the end of the first quarter, compared with eight in the first quarter of 1999 and 34 in the fourth quarter of last year.

FreeMarkets said it conducted auctions for nearly $1.4 billion worth of goods and services in the first quarter. It also added such customers as

Bayer

,

Bechtel

and

DaimlerChrysler Aerospace

during the period.