Healtheon/WebMD Corp. co-founder Jim Clark said the Internet health-care company would have about $1 billion in revenue and be profitable by the end of 2000 if all its pending mergers go through. But analysts and even the health-care Internet firm's chief executive have their doubts.
The company lost $288 million last year on $102 million in revenue, and most observers expect losses until 2002. Healtheon/WebMD CEO Jeff Arnold, who in February predicted profit by 2002, refused to say when his Atlanta-based company would turn a profit, or specifically comment on Clark's forecast. But he said it would be 2001 before the pending acquisitions would improve the company's bottom line.
Claudine Singer, an analyst with Internet research firm Jupiter Communications, said she's bullish on Healtheon's prospects but sees profitability more likely in 2001, at the earliest.
Clark's grand plan to get doctors, insurers, hospitals and patients all connected via the Internet still remains a dream, Singer said.
After soaring last year, the company's stock has lost more than 70% of its value in the last three months as Internet issues overall swooned and analysts questioned when Healtheon might ever make money. Clark, who recently committed up to $200 million of his own money to purchase Healtheon stock, said he was unsure why Wall Street has been pessimistic about Healtheon. The shares closed off 69 cents at $18.75 on Nasdaq.