WebMethods Lower Despite Contract Win

WebMethods (Nasdaq: WEBM) reversedan early gain Monday, trading down 64 U.S. cents at $22.16 at midmorning as news ofa contract from paper giant International Paper (NYSE: IP) and a buy ratingfrom CIBC World Markets failed to sustain the advance.

CIBC reportedly began coverage of WebMethods with a buy rating and a pricetarget of $28.

Also Monday, WebMethods said International Paper (NYSE: IP) will use the company’s software to power its Internet business systems.

WebMethods, a maker of business-to-business (B2B) integration software, saidInternational Paper selected it to provide an “enterprise-wide integrationplatform.” Fairfax, Virginia-based WebMethods said it won the contractafter “head-to-head competition with numerous integration vendors.”

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

International Paper senior vice president J. Chris Scalet said that WebMethods’ software “will connect us quickly and easily with our customersand suppliers via the Web.” The paper company currently uses software from avariety of vendors.

WebMethods president and chief operating officer David Mitchell called thedeal “a significant win.”

The deal is the latest in a series of contract wins announced by WebMethodsin recent weeks. Last Tuesday, WebMethods said it would collaborate withHewlett-Packard (NYSE: HWP) on an alliance to develop software to helpcompanies monitor and manage their e-business systems.

Last month, WebMethods said it would provide Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) with the softwareto power its online business operations. And a month earlier, WebMethods said itwould work with B2B software maker i2 Technologies (Nasdaq: ITWO) on a setof new products, due to be released in the third quarter of this year.

In February, WebMethods posted stronger-than-expected results for the thirdquarter ended December 31st, with a 237 percent rise in revenue and anarrower loss. The company said “increased penetration of both global 2000companies and major industry-backed exchanges” were behind the gain.

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