<I>CNNfn</I> Takes a Stake in PCQuote.com

The move adds to speculation that Time Warner might spin off its Web sites.
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The financial news network CNNfn said Wednesday it is taking a minority ownership stake in PCQuote.com, the Internet subsidiary of stock-information company PC Quote (PQT) , and will start supplying news headlines from the CNNfn.com Web site to PC Quote's site.

The companies said the agreement represents the first step toward what is likely to be closer ties between

CNNfn

and PC Quote. "This is what we hope will be the beginning of a larger and deeper relationship," said Lou Dobbs, president of

CNNfn

, a unit of

Time Warner

(TWX)

.

TheStreet.com

reported

March 25 that the companies were in discussions to partner on a joint Internet venture.

As part of the agreement, visitors to the PC Quote Web site will be able to read headlines from

CNNfn.com

along with the stock, bond, commodity and other financial information PC Quote already provides to investors. Web users who click on the headlines to read more information will be linked back to the

CNNfn.com

Web site. "This is all part of a major plan to empower the individual investor with better tools, with more information," said Jim Porter, PC Quote's CEO.

The companies did not elaborate further, but CNNfn.com could likely include data from PC Quote on its site or market subscriptions to different PC Quote services.

CNNfn.com

already partners with companies such as

Intuit

(INTU) - Get Report

, linking to its

Quicken.com

site, and

Inktomi

(INKT)

, whose shopping search engine is accessible from

CNNfn.com's

site.

"We will continue, through strategic partnerships, to build out value and the highest possible content offering" for financial information on the Web, Dobbs said.

CNNfn.com

is one of several Time Warner Web properties, such as the sports site

CNNSI.com

, which it's been speculated could be spun off from Time Warner as a separate publicly traded company.

Dobbs did not disclose the size of

CNNfn's

stake. Porter said no money was changing hands as part of Wednesday's agreement.

"Both

CNNfn

and

CNBC

want to build online brands," said Robert Sterling, digital commerce analyst with

Jupiter Communications

. "They've got strong terrestrial brands through television, but they want to become financial destination sites as well."

The deal raises the profile of PC Quote, which is seeing a growing amount of its revenue come from its Internet operations. The company, founded in 1980 as

On-Line Response

, is not covered by any Wall Street firm, according to Porter. In 1998, the company reported a loss of $7.5 million, or 19 cents a share, on revenue of $23 million. In 1997 PC Quote reported a loss of $11.1 million, or 57 cents a share, on revenue of $17.1 million.

PC Quote's stock, which ran up 4 1/4 on Tuesday following the announcement that it would sell Wall Street research from

Multex.com

(MLTX)

on its site, fell 2 to close at 12 3/4 on Wednesday.

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