RealTime IT News

Early '99 Aftermarket Winners, Losers

In the first two months of this year, 14 Internet companies launched IPOs. Several soared into the stratosphere, and all but one finished first-day trading above the offer price.

These 14 stocks currently are included in our IPODEX, which tracks the aftermarket performance of recent Internet public offerings. Today we'll look at where these stocks are now relative to their first-day close.

First, in terms of their debuts, the stocks fall into three categories: spectacular (the first six companies listed), impressive (the next six) and disappointing (Intraware and Digital Lava). Here's how they break down:


IPO Date

Offer Price

First-Day Close

% Change

CBS MarketWatch

Jan. 15





Feb. 11




Tut Systems

Jan. 29





Feb. 11




Pacific Internet

Feb. 5




Modem Media

Feb. 5




Covad Comm.

Jan. 22





Feb. 19





Feb. 26





Jan. 22





Feb. 19





Feb. 11





Feb. 26




Digital Lava

Feb. 17




So where are the big opening-day performers now? Online investment news and information Web site CBS MarketWatch, which has the second-best debut ever (after theglobe.com's 606%) based on offer vs. close price, opened Wednesday at $75.38, down 22.2% from its lofty Day 1 finish.

Web-based health care services provider Healtheon, with the fourth-best all-time debut, started trading Wednesday morning at $51.50, 64% above its first-day close. Internet access equipment vendor Tut Systems (No. 10 on the all-time list) opened Wednesday at $45, down 22% from its first-day close.

VerticalNet opened Wednesday at $122.13, a stunning 269% increase over its first-day close. So far the operator of online vertical trade communities is the big winner of the early Class of '99.

Opening at $79.75, Asian Rim ISP Pacific Internet started Wednesday 66% above its first-day close. Internet services company Modem Media.Poppe Tyson began trading Wednesday at $35.50, 21% below its first-day close. And Covad Communications opened Wednesday trading at $105 (131% above first-day close), giving it the second-best performance to date among the strong openers.

Thus, in the first group, we have a mixed bag, with four companies (VerticalNet, Covad, Healtheon and Pacific Internet) currently trading above their opening-day close, and three (CBS MarketWatch, Tut Systems and Modem Media) trading below.

Here's how the rest stacked up Wednesday morning against their first-day closing price:

Vignette -- $99 (+132%)

PcOrder.com -- $66.50 (+41%)

Allaire -- $68.38 (+56%)

WebTrends -- $57 (+110%)

Prodigy -- $30 (+7%)

Intraware -- $34.88 (+85%)

Digital Lava -- $9.63 (+47%)

None of these companies are trading below their opening-day close, and two of them -- Web software vendors Vignette and WebTrends -- are among the top performers in the early Class of '99.

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