Healtheon/WebMD Corp. (Nasdaq: HLTH) gained 7 1/2 Friday to close at 29 3/16 after Directors Jim Clark and John Doerr said they would purchase as much of $220 million worth of the company’s stock in order to take advantage of its depressed price. Company shares traded at about $65 just a month ago, before being caught up in a widespread flight from Internet stocks.
Clark, who helped found the Internet healthcare information company in 1995, said he intends to invest up to $200 million, and Doerr plans to buy up to $20 million. Purchases will be made on the open market.
“I am more confident than ever in Healtheon/WebMD’s vision of connecting physicians, payers and consumers via the Internet,” said Clark. “The recent flurry of activity in the e-health space makes it clear to me that the healthcare industry is embracing the Internet.” Clark, who also started Netscape Corp. and Silicon Graphics, Inc., already owns about 11.7 million Healtheon/WebMD shares along with members of his family.
Doerr, a general partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, has been a Healtheon director since July 1997. “I have great confidence in Healtheon/WebMD’s strategy, and in management’s ability to execute,” he said. Doerr’s firm owns about 8.1 million Healtheon/WebMD shares.