MarchFirst Punished After Revealing Need for Financing

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Shares of

MarchFirst

(MRCH)

plummeted today to a new 52-week low after the Internet consulting firm said it needed additional short-term financing to fund its business.

The company's shares closed down 49%, or $1.50, to $1.56 in

Nasdaq

trading.

In a filing made with the

Securities and Exchange Commission

, MarchFirst said it believes the company needs about $50 million in additional funds through the end of 2000 and another $50 million in early 2001 to refinance its existing bank facilities and meet its operating cash flows.

The filing also said that as of Nov. 17, the company had about $80 million of cash and cash equivalents, including restricted cash of $53 million, compared with $120 million at Sept. 30 and $228 million at Dec. 31, 1999. The company said $27 million in cash and cash equivalents are currently available to meet its short-term liquidity needs.

MarchFirst, which is based in Chicago, also said it is reviewing financing alternatives, which include new or expanded credit facilities, accounts receivable financing, other secured debt financing, sales of nonstrategic business units and sales of debt or equity securities.

On Nov. 13, MarchFirst said it would eliminate 1,000 employees. The company expects to incur "significant expenses" related to the job cuts in the fourth quarter.