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MARKET SAVVY | Savvy Confidential: A Briefing for Investors

Edgar Online Shares Are Up and Running

July 07, 1999|Bloomberg News

Shares of Edgar Online Inc., an Internet provider of corporate reports, nearly doubled Tuesday after the company announced plans to expand its research services.

Shares of the Norwalk, Conn.-based firm surged $9.31 to close at $19.06 on Nasdaq, after trading as high as $21.88.

Edgar Online, which sold 3.6 million shares to the public at $9.50 each in May, plans to add other services such as real estate contracts to its current focus on financial details. It makes Securities and Exchange Commission filing information available directly to companies and via Internet subscriptions.

"Edgar's skill is in mining the filings," said Rich Fahey, analyst at Fahnestock & Co.

For example, real estate brokers can lure companies to new buildings by offering better leases when a company's lease expires, said Fahey, who rates the stock a "buy."

Edgar Online provides access to information from the SEC's Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval System, better known as Edgar. More than 15,000 public companies file corporate reports via Edgar.

"What really is driving this business is the confluence of both the popularity of the Internet as the distribution medium for business information and the ability to use software to do data mining," said Tom Vos, president and chief executive of Edgar Online.

Edgar provides the information with low expenses by using the Internet for distribution and "the fact that we can use machines and not people to pull this information out makes our cost structure very attractive," Vos said.

The SEC provides public access to these filings through computer terminals at its offices and--on a delayed basis--through its own Web site. People who want to get the information right away can subscribe to private vendors such as Edgar Online that pay the SEC for the right to resell the information.

Edgar Online offers several tiers of paid service for individual subscribers, as well as applications tailored to the needs of clients such as Intel Corp. and Merrill Lynch & Co. Prices for individual subscriptions to Edgar's Web site start at $9.95 a month.

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