Stock Watch: CheckFree Gains as Results Beat Forecasts

CheckFree Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq: CKFR) rose 7 1/16 to 39 9/16 Wednesday after reporting a smaller-than-expected loss for the quarter ended March 31st.

The Atlanta, Georgia-based CheckFree said revenue rose to $79.7 million from $63.0 million. The company lost 7 cents per fully diluted share, compared with income of 4 cents in the year-earlier quarter and analysts’ expectations of 11 cents. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Pete Kight said better-than-expected revenue growth from e-commerce operations helped the company beat estimates.

“We had nothing short of a phenomenal quarter with regard to signing billers to our services,” said Kight. Thirty-two billers signed during the quarter, compared with 25 in the first and second quarters combined, he said. By the end of its fiscal year, CheckFree said, it expects to provide electronic billing and payment services to 120 companies.

On Thursday, Bank of America agreed to take a 16 percent stake in CheckFree, which will handle the bank’s online bill-payment operations. The companies said they will also collaborate on other e-commerce initiatives.

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