Stock Watch: Drkoop.com Hires Advisor, Shares Rise

Drkoop.com, Inc. (Nasdaq: KOOP) rose 1 1/2 to 3 27/32 Wednesday after the beleaguered medical-information site said it hired an advisor to “explore strategic alternatives,” and that America Online, Inc. (NYSE: AOL) would take a 10 percent equity stake in the company in lieu of cash payments due under a commerce agreement.

Drkoop.com also said first-quarter results are likely to be weaker than expected, with revenue coming in between $4.5 million and $4.7 million, and a net loss of 80 to 82 cents a share. The company attributed the weakness to lower-than-expected advertising revenue and increased expenses.

The company, which has seen its stock price fall from above $35 at the start of the year, said it has enough cash on hand to last “in excess of four months,” and is “actively pursuing other sources of new cash financing.” Meanwhile, advisor Bear Stearns & Co. is looking at other options.

Drkoop’s auditors expressed doubt last month about the company’s ability to survive on its own.

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