Like so much of the tech bubble's effervescence, the revenues recorded during that period are now disappearing as well.
late Wednesday said that it restated top-line revenue for calendar year 2000 because the
Securities and Exchange Commission
took issue with a $7.9 million warrants-for-revenue deal the company struck with auto parts supplier
, its largest customer.
Observers of other software companies that have used warrant deals in the past, such as
, have been
watching FreeMarkets' situation closely, trying to gauge whether similar issues could affect those companies.
Thursday, shares of FreeMarkets rose 56 cents, or 4.8%, to $12.26.
FreeMarkets had previously announced the SEC's decision on the matter, but had said it was considering appealing it. Wednesday, the company said it had decided not to because it didn't want to delay closing its pending acquisition of supply-chain software maker
Compared to its loss in market capitalization, the reclassification of FreeMarkets' revenue is small potatoes. During its height in January of 2000, when its stock traded at $370 per share, the company was worth more than $13 billion. Now, its market cap is just $477 million.
FreeMarkets said the SEC took issue with fees it received from Visteon because it issued the auto-parts supplier warrants to purchase for a nominal price shares of its stock that were worth $95.5 million at the time. While FreeMarkets stands by its assertion that those fees were received for normal business services it performed for Visteon, the SEC said the money should be considered payment for the warrants, not straight revenue.
"We still believe that our original 2000 financial statements accurately reflected the relationship," said Karen Kovatch, FreeMarket's spokeswoman.
After restating its financials, FreeMarkets reported $83,338,846 in revenue for 2000, compared with the $91,276,346 it originally booked. The company said that net income and cash flow were not affected by the change. In the future, it said it would not recognize payments it receives from Visteon as revenue, and that it has no other similar deals with other customers.