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January 30, 2008

Track Looks For Lifeboat

By Peter Chapman

Track Data, operator of the Track ECN, may sell all or a part of itself or merge with another firm.

The vendor and broker-dealer made the announcement after reporting a loss for the first nine months of the year, as well as a significant decline in revenues.

"The company has retained a financial adviser to explore strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value," the company said in a statement. Those alternatives include a sale, merger or divestiture.

The company reported a loss of $829,000 in the first three quarters. That compares with a profit of $1.8 million in the same period last year. Revenues dropped to $26 million from $33 million.

Behind this year's poor financial showing is a drop in business at the Track ECN, the company says.

The market center stopped displaying its quotes on Nasdaq in September 2006, resulting in fewer transactions. Track now displays its orders on the National Stock Exchange.

Volume on a recent day was only about 5 million shares, down from a daily average of about 20 million shares last year.

Revenues from Track's ECN declined by about $5 million in the first nine months. In 2006, the ECN business accounted for about one-third of its $42 million in total revenues.

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