CFN Finds Home on Hoover’s

Online business information provider Hoover’s Online (Nasdaq: HOOV) announced a year-long agreement today with Consumer Financial Network, an e-commerce platform for financial services. In addition to offering financial planning services to Hoover’s users, Consumer Financial Network will be the primary sponsor of a co-branded insurance area on Hoover’s new Money channel.

Consumer Financial Network, which is a subsidiary of Internet services company iXL Enterprises (Nasdaq: IIXL), will provide content, tools, products and services on a range of personal finance issues. These topics include auto insurance, life insurance, owners and renter’s insurance/refinancing, health and vision-care insurance, pet insurance and legal services.

“Consumer Financial Network will provide our millions of visitors with easy access to a broad range of insurance content and tools,” said Patrick Spain, CEO of Hoover’s. “For example, our visitors will be able to quickly get insurance quotes and compare the best rates by state.”

Consumer Financial Network is provided at no cost to large companies and associations (typically 5,000 or more employees) for distribution as a human resource benefit to employees or members..

Hoover’s Will Promote Insurance Area

Under the terms of the agreement, the new insurance area will be promoted with banner advertising on the main page of Hoover’s Money channel. Hoover’s will also promote the insurance area with advertising in its e-mail newsletters, its “Week at a Glance” feature and its IPO update.

Hoover’s company information includes profiles of businesses in various sectors. This information is available via Hoover’s Web site and also through other destinations such as America Online, Yahoo! and Infoseek, which is an investor in Hoover’s. Hoover’s also has deals with Dow Jones, Microsoft, Reuters, Time Warner and NBC.

Stock Impact

Shares of Hoover’s were up 5/16 to 14-5/16 in early trading today after the news. After trading as high as 33 earlier in the year, Hoover’s stock is now trading just above its initial public offering price of $14.

Shares of iXL, which went public at $12 in June, have done better. In early trading today after the news, iXL stock climbed 1-13/16 to 36-3/4, less than two points away from its all-time high of 38-3/8. On Friday, Volpe Brown Whelan, which was not involved in iXL’s IPO, started coverage of the stock with a buy rating and a $55 price target.

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