SAN FRANCISCO (04/10/2000) - When the market melts down, the savvy go shopping. Healtheon/WebMD announced Friday that company directors Jim Clark and John Doerr will buy $220 million worth of the Internet health company's stock to take advantage of depressed prices.
Former Netscape Chairman Clark, who founded Healtheon, will purchase $200 million worth of shares. Venture capitalist Doerr will put in an order for $20 million. Healtheon/WebMD's stock hit an all-time low of $19 on Tuesday during Nasdaq's near-crash.
"I am more confident than ever in Healtheon/WebMD's vision of connecting physicians, payers and consumers via the Internet," Clark said in a statement.
"The recent flurry of activity in the e-health space makes it clear to me that the health care industry is embracing the Internet." That confidence is going to cost Clark some cash. News of his and Doerr's investment helped Healtheon/WebMD's stock rebound. It rose $7.50, to $29.19, in trading Friday.
The news came as Healtheon/WebMD projected that its first-quarter revenues would exceed $62 million while losses would amount to less than $90 million.
The company announced Thursday that it has completed the initial integration of Kinetra, an electronic clinical-transaction company which it acquired in February. Healtheon/WebMD said that more than 20,000 of Kinetra's 50,000 doctors are now using WebMD Practice, a portal for physicians.
Friday's developments mark a welcome change from the bad news that dogged Healtheon/WebMD during the past week. The Justice Department indicated last week that it has antitrust concerns about some of the company's acquisitions and alliances. Shortly afterward, six of the nation's largest health plans reportedly are discussing an online venture to compete against Healtheon/WebMD.