How Centra Keeps You out of Airports

A new buzzword is "Web collaboration," which means corporations doing business internally or with each other on the Internet--for meetings, seminars, staff training, or marketing. Market leader Centra Software (CTRA ) has caught investors' eyes in the wake of the terrorist attacks. Analyst Trace Urdan of W.R. Hambrecht expects demand for its Web-based communication products to shoot up because of curtailed business air travel, in the wake of the Sept. 11 hijackings. Urdan says heightened security combined with a reluctance by many to resume normal travel will swell demand for Centra's products.

Centra Software stock jumped 1.95, to 10.95, on Sept. 17, and ran up some more the next day, to 12.15. It closed at 10.60 on Sept. 19. Urdan, who rates the stock a buy, values the stock at 20, based on his assumption that Centra will turn profitable in 2002, earning an estimated 25 cents a share on sales of $76.7 million, vs. an estimated loss of 38 cents on sales of $46.3 million in 2001. Founder and CEO Leon Navickas says Centra will beat estimates this year and next in spite of the economic downturn.

Centra's big clients include Switzerland's Novartis, Japan's Nippon Telegraph & Telephone and Sony, and Brazil Telecom. Its marketing partners in the U.S. include Microsoft and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

By Gene G. Marcial

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