RealTime IT News

When A Pricing Isn't A Pricing

Many IPO calendar watchers noticed last Wednesday when Internet discount broker onlinetradinginc.com priced its 2 million shares at $7. Now, six days later, the stock has yet to begin trading, leaving some investors puzzled since the vast majority of companies go public either the day of or the day after a pricing.

Did someone get cold feet on the launch pad? Hardly, says onlinetradinginc.com CEO Andrew Allen.

"We actually haven't even priced yet," Allen said. "What happened is some people misinterpreted our amended registration statement and thought we had priced the stock."

Instead, the SB-2/A form increases the number of stocks to be sold to 2.25 million (at $7) and ups the offer amount to $15.575 million from the original $14 million.

But onlinetradinginc.com showed up on Hoover's Online and several other IPO information Web sites on May 12 as ready for trading action.

For investors who are dying to grab shares of the stock, which will trade on Nasdaq under the symbol LINE, the wait should soon be over. Allen says the company expects to get SEC clearance this week, with plans to price for real on Friday and begin trading on Monday or Tuesday.

Based in Boca Raton, Fla., onlinetradinginc.com targets its services - which include after- and before-hours trading -- to wealthy individual investors and small to mid-sized financial institutions.

The company had $6 million in revenue and a $117,298 net profit for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, versus $3.7 million in revenue and a $19,428 net loss in '98. Lead underwriter is Werbel-Roth Securities.

IPO Pipeline - It Keeps Growing and Growing

With IPO filings coming in at about twice the rate of IPO launches, it won't be long before there are more than 100 Internet companies in registration to go public.

The five Internet IPOs filed from Friday through Monday bring to nearly 80 the number of 'Net companies in the process of preparing to sell public stock. Even if you figure that 5% postpone or delay their ticker debuts, we're looking at a generous diet of Internet offerings through the traditionally slow summer months.

Given the lower first-day performances of the past month, many Wall Street observers are proclaiming that Internet IPOs already have reached a saturation point. While that's a premature conclusion, at least in my opinion, the upcoming months undoubtedly will test thelimits of market demand for Internet stocks.

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