RealTime IT News

TheStreet.com Soars In IPO Debut

Jim Cramer got the debut he wanted for TheStreet.com's IPO.

The question now is whether share prices of the online financial news service co-founded by the voluble hedge-fund manager can defy the recent trend of Internet IPOs that begin like moonshots but end up like Alan Shepherd's sub-orbital hop in 1962 - straight up and almost immediately back down. (See Tuesday's Midday Report.)

I expect TheStreet.com's IPO to enjoy a longer initial flight than the most recent Internet offerings, in large part because of the site's popularity among day traders. For these desktop investors, TheStreet.com -- like CBS MarketWatch.com, which has the best first-day performance this year among Internet IPOs, and Wit Capital, which is expected to go public later this month - is one of their own. Their level of interest and confidence in the stock should give it a good ride.

It was that investor buzz which helped TheStreet.com open trading Tuesday at $61, more than three times the $19 price at which 5.5 million shares were offered.

The stock closed at $60, or 216% above the offer price, giving it the eight-best opening day of 1999 and the best since Log On America's Rocky-like debut on April 22. While that may not seem so long ago, 15 Internet IPOs had come out since then before TheStreet.com hit the street.

(Check out Tuesday's Morning Report for an investment analysis of TheStreet.com in which Steve Harmon accurately predicts how the stock would perform on opening day.)

Trading any moment now

TheStreet.com's debut will be a tough act to follow for ISP BiznessOnline.com, which, like the financial news site, priced shares on Monday but as of Wednesday morning had not yet begun trading. The New Jersey-based access provider for corporate and residential Internet users in the Northeast priced shares at $10 each, slightly above the proposed $7-$9 range. Nasdaq ticker will be BIZZ.

Pricing on Tuesday for trading Wednesday was online employment services company CareerBuilder (CBDR), which set shares at $13 apiece, at the top of the $12-$13 offer range. The company's IPO was profiledin Monday's Midday Report.

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