RealTime IT News

Healtheon, eToys Rocket

Health care claims processor Healtheon Corp. was one of Thursday's most watched Internet stocks. Shares of the company soared after it formally announced a merger with WebMD Inc. Investors were also giving online toy retailer eToys a very warm reception.

Just after midday, the Dow Jones industrial averge was up 28.90 to 10,916.29, the Nasdaq Composite was up 1.01 to 2,578.41 and Internet.com's Internet Stock Index was off 7.59, or 1.31 percent, to 572.41.

Healtheon Corp. (HLTH) soared 40-3/4 to 121 after confirming it would merge with privately-held WebMD Inc. in a deal they say will create the largest Internet-based health care company. A number of technology heavyweights are investing in the venture, including Microsoft Corp. which will provide $250 million.

eToys (ETYS) soared 63-3/4 to 83-3/4 shortly after debuting. The company on Wednesday priced 8.3 million shares at $20 each.

America Online Inc. (AOL) was down 1/16 to 134-7/16, despite receiving a positive reception from analysts at a meeting in Washington, D.C. this week.

Morgan Stanley Internet analyst Mary Meeker said the meeting was the company's most positive ever and said AOL was "firing on all cylinders." Bruce Smith, Internet analyst at Jefferies & Co. reiterated his "buy" rating and set a $175 price target.

Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) was off 4-3/16 to 134-3/4. This week, the company said it will increase its marketing efforts and filed to raise $2 billion through an offering of several types of securities.

The day's other Internet IPO is CAIS Internet Inc. which priced 6 million shares at $16 to $18. It is set to open later Thursday.

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