Peapod Rises While Others Fall

SAN FRANCISCO (04/05/2000) - Amid Nasdaq's carnage, the sketchy fate of online grocer Peapod received a jolt of good news.

The cash-strapped company announced that it might have found a white knight.

Negotiations are under way between Peapod Inc. and an unnamed third party regarding "a substantial equity investment in the company." As part of the talks, Peapod has obtained a commitment from the party for an immediate bridge loan.

The news sent Peapod's battered shares up 56 cents to $3.25 in trading today.

The jump might be short-lived. Even Wall Street's most notorious bulls are sending cautious messages to investors. Henry Blodget of Merrill Lynch issued a report Monday warning that "the Internet tide is not rising fast enough to lift all boats anymore."

The Net sector, he predicts in the report, "is likely to remain extremely volatile (sudden unpredictable 50 percent pullbacks, unfortunately, are par for the course), but we believe the stocks of the best companies will continue to trend higher long-term."

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