The distribution of phosphoglycerate mutase (PGM) activity in bacteria is complex, with some organisms possessing both a cofactor-dependent and a cofactor-independent PGM and others having only one of these enzymes. Although Bacillus species contain only a cofactor-independent PGM, genes homologous to those encoding cofactor-dependent PGMs have been detected in this group of bacteria, but in at least one case the encoded protein lacks significant PGM activity. Here we apply sequence analysis, molecular modeling, and enzymatic assays to the cofactor-dependent PGM homologs from B. stearothermophilus and B. subtilis, and show that these enzymes are phosphatases with broad substrate specificity. Homologs from other gram-positive bacteria are also likely to possess phosphatase activity. These studies clearly show that the exploration of genomic sequences through three-dimensional modeling is capable of producing useful predictions regarding function. However, significant methodological improvements will be needed before such analysis can be carried out automatically.