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Press 1 Now To Boost Tele Tech

BusinessWeek Investor -- Inside Wall Street

Press 1 Now to Boost TeleTech

Here is a small-cap, little known company--TeleTech Holdings (TTEC)--that helps blue chip clients with "customer relationship management" services, such as handling phone and Internet inquiries. Among its clients: American Express, Citibank, Ford Motor, Allstate, and Verizon Communications. Its stock, however, needs some care of its own. It has fallen from 43 in February to 30.

"The weakness is an opportunity for investors to ride the stock up, as more people take notice of the company's thriving business--and of some hidden assets that aren't yet reflected in the price," says Marc Shapiro, an analyst at Awad Asset Management. With its joint venture with Ford, TeleTech provides customer-care services for the entire Ford organization. The venture is expected to produce revenues of more than $25 million in 2000. And in three to five years, it could generate $1 billion, estimates the analyst.

One of TeleTech's untapped assets is its Digital Creators unit, which provides Web-based learning courses on such sectors as technology and finance. A rival of Digital Creators, called DigitalThink, trades at 36 a share with a market cap of $1.3 billion. It's likely that TeleTech will take Digital Creators public. With estimated sales of $20 million this year, it could be worth 12 a share as a public company, figures Shapiro.By Gene G. MarcialReturn to top

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