PurchasePro Falls on Negative Press

PurchasePro (Nasdaq: PPRO) was down US$3.50 at $21.62 early Monday after the company was the subject of a negative article in Barron’s magazine.

PurchasePro issued a statement calling the article “riddled with inaccuracies and innuendo.” The company said its statement was aimed at reassuring investors.

“Barron’s continues to publish inaccurate, unverified information about PurchasePro,” said the statement. “These references began almost a year ago when the publication stated that the company would be out of cash in three quarters. PurchasePro, at the end of the most recent third quarter, had in excess of $100 million in cash and cash equivalents.”

The article, published by Barron’s over the weekend, reportedly questions Purchase Pro’s accounting practices and calls its management team inexperienced.

PurchasePro said that its financial statements are prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that it has a “top-tier management team.”

Chairman and chief executive officer Charles E. Johnson, Jr. also complained that the Barron’s reporter wrote the article without checking the information with company representatives.

“We were eager for an interview with Barron’s, but wanted to wait until after our fourth-quarter earnings announcement to do so,” Johnson said.

PurchasePro said that it plans to report quarterly results on February 12th.

Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, PurchasePro operates an online marketplace serving some 30,000 businesses. The company’s software also powers some 240 private marketplaces.

The company recently announced an expanded alliance with AOL Time Warner that includes the software maker’s first offline advertising campaign. Ads for the company will appear in AOL Time Warner print publications such as Fortune, and on television stations including CNN.

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