Stock Watch: Ventro Falls as Analysts Cut Ratings

Ventro Corp. (Nasdaq: VNTR) fell 6 7/16 to 14 13/16 Friday following reports that several analysts downgraded the stock because of a shortfall in revenue from the company’s life-science product B2B exchange.

Overall, Ventro posted a net loss of $119.62 million, or $2.69 per share, for the second quarter, compared with a loss of $12.5 million, or $2.86, in the same quarter last year. Revenue rose to $25.23 million from $2.9 million. Latest-quarter results include a $45.3 million charge for an investment.

Excluding the charge, the company lost $33.1 million, or 74 cents per share, beating analysts’ forecast for an 80-cent loss.

Transaction volume, however, rose just nine percent from the previous quarter to $29.1 million, and revenue from its Chemdex life-science exchange grew at a slower rate than in the preceding quarter. Analysts at Robertson Stephens, Prudential Securities, Sands Brothers, First Union Securities, US Bancorp Piper Jaffray, Wedbush Morgan, Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown and Credit Suisse First Boston all cut their ratings on the stock, according to Briefing.com.

The company did not elaborate on the Chemdex slowdown in its press release announcing the results. President and Chief Executive Officer David Perry said the company is positioned “to continue to expand the revenue model, increase gross margin dollars and deliver a broader range of marketplace services.”

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