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Jupiter Media Is Low on Money

April 02, 2002|From Associated Press

Jupiter Media Metrix, the technology analysis and Internet audience measurement firm, said Monday that it has only enough money to cover its operating expenses for the next few months. The firm also said that its auditor has questioned its viability.

In its annual report to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the New York-based company said it holds just $7.5 million in cash and equivalents, along with $1.4million of marketable securities--enough to hold it until the middle of the second quarter.

The company said its auditor, Ernst & Young, found "that because of operating losses and a working capital deficiency, there is substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern."

Jupiter spokeswoman Susan Hickey said Jupiter had retained financial advisor Robertson Stephens Inc. to help it weigh survival options. Those options include seeking a strategic investor in the company and selling one or more of the company's four business units.

The four units are its technology research arm, Jupiter Research; its Internet traffic measurement unit, Media Metrix; online advertising measurement operation, AdRelevance; and its European research and measurement arm.

Hickey said it was unlikely Jupiter will continue to operate in the future as it exists today.

In February, Jupiter canceled its proposed $71.2-million merger with NetRatings Inc. after the Federal Trade Commission warned that it would challenge the proposal. Jupiter said it "wasn't in a position to contest the FTC in a lengthy court challenge."

At that time, Jupiter Media said it might have to cut its operations if it didn't get additional funding.

Jupiter said the Nasdaq Stock Market placed it on notice that its stock will be delisted by June, because its shares have traded well below the minimum $1 price for more than 30 days.

In trading Monday, Jupiter's stock slumped 5 cents, or 25%, to 15 cents per share.

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