Neoforma, San Jose, Calif., lost $17 million, or 87 cents per share, on revenue of $2.6 million in the first quarter ended March 31. That marked an increase over the year-ago quarter, when Neoforma, which offers a Web-based purchasing exchange for hospital supplies, lost $13.2 million, or 69 cents per share, on revenue of $2.9 million. During a conference call on earnings, officials said they could not comment on discussions with prospective partners, but the company was pleased that hospital alliances VHA and University HealthSystem Consortium had decided to sell their combined majority ownership in Neoforma in the event of a sale or merger of the company. Neoforma announced earlier this year that seeking a change in its complex relationship with the alliances, it was exploring alternatives such as a sale, merger, privatization or a stock buyback program.
In addition to announcing their decision to divest their Neoforma interest as part of any transaction the company makes, VHA and UHC last week said they will seek to renegotiate their exclusive outsourcing agreement with the company as a condition of continuing the agreement. The 10-year deal is in its fifth year. -- by Cinda Becker