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BusinessWeek Investor -- Inside Wall Street

Watch This Market Watcher

Here is a little known business-to-business e-commerce Internet play that operates a profitable business of its own. The company is Source Information Management (SORC), whose basic business is making display racks used by retailers at checkout counters. The business has high gross margins (30%) and accounts for 70% of the company's sales. Source has 77% of that market. But the new growth area at Source is its business-to-business Web site, Interactive Communication Network (ICN), which gathers daily and weekly data on sales of magazines and such consumer products as razors, candy, and gum. "ICN could develop in two years into a company earning $2 to $3 a share," says Douglas Raborn, who heads the investment firm Raborn & Co. ICN gets daily visits from 250 retail chains with 60,000 stores and publishers representing 1,700 magazine titles. The site provides timely sales info online to retailers, such as Kmart, Walgreen, and Barnes & Noble, as well as such companies as Hershey Foods and Gillette. Raborn says Source is growing at 50% a year and selling at 18 times his estimated 2000 earnings of $1.10 a share. His target for the stock, currently trading at 20, is 38.By Gene G. MarcialReturn to top

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