Stock Watch: CheckFree Withdraws Secondary Offering

Electronic billing and payment company CheckFree (Nasdaq: CKFR) had an extremely tough last couple days. On Wednesday, shares of CheckFree plummeted 8-15/16 to 29-3/4 — a loss of 24 percent — after banking giants Chase Manhattan, First Union and Wells Fargo announced that they had teamed up to form an electronic billing venture that will compete with CheckFree.

On Thursday, CheckFree withdrew a planned secondary offering of 3.8 million shares of stock priced at $39. Pete Kight, CEO of Checkfree, said “the market made it an easy decision to withdraw CheckFree’s share offering. We are, of course, deeply disappointed that the market did not, in our view, properly assess the importance of yesterday’s announcement.”

There is a little bit of good news, though. Deutsche Banc upgraded Checkfree from buy to strong buy on Thursday.

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