24/7 Media Says it Has “Sufficient Liquidity”

After Barron’s listed it as number 33 on its list of companies ranked by their cash-depletion rates, online advertising firm 24/7 Media is defending itself, saying it has “sufficient liquidity to carry the company to break-even on a cash basis without the need to raise additional capital.”

The article — titled “Up In Smoke” — listed 227 companies it called “burn victims,” and gave estimates for when they would run out of cash. This is a follow-up to an article the publication ran three months ago, which sparked much speculation and dashed investor confidence. In the initial story, 24/7 Media wasn’t ranked, but this time it’s number 33, with an estimated 6.4 months until burnout and $27.91 million cash on hand.

24/7 Media stock was trading at 14 13/16 late Monday afternoon — down 1/64 for the day.

24/7 Media says Barron’s failed to note the company’s acquisition of Exactis.com and its stakes in chinadotcom corp. and Network Commerce. The acquisition will give 24/7 new cash, and the stock could be sold to raise cash, if necessary.

“Even at today’s depressed market prices, the cash and marketable securities we have on our balance sheet are more than sufficient to carry us past the point at which most analysts project we will achieve break-even on a cash basis, which is currently the first half of 2002,” the company said in a statement.

The Barron’s stories, as they educate investors about the relative burn rates of Internet companies, are shaking up the markets as investors drop many of the listed stocks like hot potatoes. Internet companies, like 24/7 Media, and analysts have criticized the Barron’s stories for being overly simplistic and failing to take all of the relevant factors into consideration.

24/7 Media wasn’t the only Internet advertising and marketing company to make the “burn victims” list, although it was ranked as being closest to burnout. Next on the list was Promotions.com, ranked number 62, with an estimated 11.8 months to burnout. MessageMedia came next at 68, with 12.3 months predicted. LifeMinders.com was listed at 95; Cybergold was listed at 96; Netcentives was at 101; FreeShop.com ranked number 132. Exactis.com (35.7 months) , MyPoints.com (41.8 months), Digital Impact (48.0 months), Mediaplex (63.7 months), and NetPerceptions (93.4 months) were among those listed in the top 200.

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