Buy Rating Boosts Click2learn.com

Click2learn.com (Nasdaq: CLKS) picked up 3/8 to 16 3/4 after W.R. Hambrecht & Co. began coverage of the stock with a buy recommendation. Analyst Trace Urdan expects the stock to reach 27 in a year.

“In our estimation, Click2learn is one of the very few companies in the market today that can fairly claim to provide the complete end-to-end e-learning solution that customers are demanding,” Urdan said. “With rich functionality in learning management, authoring tools, easy access to aggregated best-in-class content and a rapid, high-quality custom development capability, Click2learn fairly has it all.”

Click2learn’s revenue will rise to $44 million this year and $60 million next year, according to Urdan. The company had revenue of $35 million in 1999.

Bellevue, Washington-based Click2learn reported a 22 percent increase in revenue in the third quarter from a year earlier, to $11.1 million. The company signed 43 new customers, including American Airlines, Fatbrain.com and ADC Telecommunications, during the quarter.

The company beat analysts’ estimates for the quarter, with a loss before charges of $3.3 million, or 16 cents per share. Analysts were expecting a 22-cent loss.

Click2learn provides online education services to its customers through custom-configured sites. In addition to its U.S. offerings, the company has operations in Europe, where it recently named a new vice president to spur growth, and in Asia through an alliance with Japan’s Softbank.

Company shares, which were approaching the $23 level in January, are nevertheless above their 52-week low of 6 3/8, set last November.

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