Business Briefs

SAN MATEO (01/28/2000) - FINANCIALS: Dell warns of shortfall in Q4 sales, profitsDell Computer Corp. officials said it will report lower-than-expected earnings and revenue for its fourth fiscal quarter ending Jan. 28. The company cited shortages of key semiconductor products and slower-than-expected corporate sales in the wake of the year-2000 date change. Fourth-quarter earnings will be about $430 million, or 16 cents per share, including a gain of about 1 cent per share from investments, officials added. Analysts expected the company to report earnings of 21 cents per share. Revenue for the quarter will be about $6.7 billion -- 30 percent higher than the same period one year ago, but lower than the company anticipated. Dell is due to announce its fourth-quarter financial results on Feb. 10.

E-COMMERCE: Gartner predicts B-to-B will reach $7.3 trillion by 2004BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS e-commerce will continue its growth, generating $7.3 trillion in sales transactions globally in 2004, according to a report last week by market research company Gartner Group.

The business-to-business market, worth $145 billion in 1999, will make up a full 7 percent of the forecasted $105 trillion in total global sales in four years, the study said.

The business of establishing e-commerce capabilities -- or start-up companies and traditional brick-and-mortar companies --will be a driving factor in the growth of business-to-business e-commerce, what the Gartner Group calls "e-market maker activity."

The report estimates that such activity will make up 37 percent of the business-to-business e-commerce market, worth $2.71 trillion, by the year 2004.

The Gartner Group report specifically singled out Chemdex, VerticalNet, Altra Energy Technologies, and Commerce One as being among the most notable e-market makers.

This year should generate $403 billion in business-to-business e-commerce revenue; $953 billion in 2001; $2.18 trillion in 2002; and $3.95 trillion in 2003, the report said.

ACQUISITION: BroadVision snaps up InterleafBROADVISION OFFICIALS last week said that the company would acquire Interleaf, a maker of enterprisewide software tools for e-content management.

BroadVision, which makes personalized e-business applications, hopes in particular to gain Interleaf's e-content company, a separate unit focused on the development of XML-based content management tools. BroadVision officials said the company sees the e-content unit as a key element in publishing and managing content for Web and wireless applications.

BroadVision is looking to decrease the time and cost of e-content management, further automate business-to-business e-commerce, and expand the reach of e-business with the acquisition, officials said.

According to company officials, the tie that binds the companies is a common belief in XML becoming the backbone of e-commerce.

BroadVision plans to fully integrate Interleaf's XML-based suite of applications, including BladeRunner, X-WAP Technology, and QuickSilver, into its own suite of e-business applications.

The deal is worth $877 million and is expected to close by May 31.

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