Ask Jeeves CEO steps down, stock plunges 60 percent after analysts' downgrade

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Internet search engine Ask Jeeves saw its market value sliced more than 60 percent Dec. 8, after a revenue warning and news that its CEO resigned. Analysts downgraded the online search company's stock because of the fourth-quarter shortfall and anticipated problems in rebuilding management. Shares closed at $3.81, off more than 60 percent. Blaming the decline of online advertising revenue, the company said it will post a wider-than-expected loss in its fourth quarter; that revenue will be about $25 million, with a loss of 50-cents a share. Rob Wrubel resigned as CEO, becoming an executive VP with the company. Analysts including U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, Goldman Sachs and Robertson Stephens all lowered their stock ratings.

Copyright December 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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