PurchasePro Falls on Q1 Loss

PurchasePro (Nasdaq: PPRO) fell 40 U.S. cents to $3.65 in morning trading Thursday after reporting a first-quarter loss.

The company blamed the shortfall on “deferral of revenues associated withthe sale of several marketplaces.” SG Cowen reportedly downgraded PurchasePro to neutral from strong buy following the report.

Revenue for the quarter ended March 31st totaled $29.8 million, up from $4.6 million in the year-earlier quarter but below the fourth quarter’s $33.6million.

The company posted an operating loss, before special charges andexpenses, of $1.4 million, or 2 cents per share, against analyst estimatesfor a profit of 8 cents per share.

Las Vegas, Nevada-based PurchasePro reported a net loss of $18.1 million, or26 cents per share, compared with a loss of $15.7 million, or 27 cents, inthe same period last year.

The company, which operates business-to-business (B2B) online marketplaces,warned Wednesday that results, originally due out late Wednesday, would fallshort of analyst estimates because of deferred recognition of certainlicense revenue, then delayed issuing its report until Thursday morning.

“While we recognize that our results are below expectations, we achieved anumber of milestones in the quarter that are broadening our reach,strengthening our network and setting us up for solid growth into the future,” said chairman and chief executive officer Charles E. Johnson, Jr.

“Our focus continues to be on driving transactions, revenues and growth,”Johnson said. During the quarter, he said, the company strengthened itsalliance with AOL and signed marketplace software license agreements with Hewlett-Packard, Monster.com and Homestore.com.

PurchasePro also has a new chief financial officer. The companynamed Richard Clemmer, Quantum’s current CFO, to take over PurchasePro’s financial operations and serve as vice chairman of the company.

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