Art Technology Higher on Sun Alliance

Art Technology Group (Nasdaq: ARTG) rose US$1.31 to $7.06 in morning trading Wednesday, after announcing an expandedalliance with Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW).

Art Technology, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based maker of e-commercesoftware, and Palo Alto, California-based Sun said the “multimillion-dollar”alliance involves sales, marketing support and engineering.

Doug Kaewert, vice president of Sun’s developernetwork group, said that through strengthening Sun’s relationship with ATG, the company will be able to continue to help its global customers “take advantage of the ‘Net Effect’ tofurther improve their business efficiency.”

ATG and Sun said they already have more than 650 customers in common and that the expandedpartnership will allow them to offer “more comprehensive global support” forthose clients, which include AT&T, Target Stores, General Motors and Procter& Gamble.

Early this month, ATG said it predicted its first-quarter loss would widen to 19 to 22 cents per share from a penny per share inthe same period last year.

The company also said that several expected large deals failed to materialize as customers decided to defer spending ontechnology.

On April 12th, ATG said it would lay off about 150 employees, or 12percent of its workforce, because of the drop in business. At the sametime, the company said it would continue to hire people for sales and marketing, aswell as research and development, in order to maintain a competitive edge.

The job cuts will result in a charge to second-quarter results. The company’s first quarter results are due to be reported on April 26th.

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