RealTime IT News

Internet IPO Group Shows Rise

Two of the 13 stocks in the IPO group shown below trade below their initial public offering price, OneMain (NASDAQ:ONEM) and Autoweb (NASDAQ:AWEB). As investors clamor (or at least walk briskly) to get ahold of Internet IPOs even in a softer market it seems that to me anyway Autoweb may be worth a second look.

I like the news of its deal with Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) June 15 to be the premier non-manufacturing auto seller on Yahoo with banners, keywords, priority listings and promotion. That's 60 million Yahoo users potentially seeing Autoweb at some point.

OneMain, a rural ISP roll up play, seems fairly valued to me at these levels given its subscriber base. With about a third of the subs of EarthLink (NASDAQ:ELNK) and Mindspring (NASDAQ:MSPG), I see ONEM riding about one-third their market cap.

Let's see the table:

Company Stock 17-Jun Percent Change from 17-Jun High % 17-Jun Low %
name Symbol close change vs. 6/3 IPO % of high vs. IPO % difference/low vs. IPO
WebTrends WEBT $ 33.13 31% 155% -61% 546% 51% 69%
iVillage IVIL $ 44.00 17% 83% -66% 442% 41% 30%
Allaire ALLR $ 50.50 14% 153% -33% 278% 49% 70%
Healtheon HLTH $ 87.88 13% 998% -30% 1477% 304% 172%
About.com BOUT $ 38.63 13% 55% -61% 300% 68% -8%
Pacific Internet PCNTF $ 42.88 7% 152% -59% 513% 63% 54%
Priceline.com PCLN $ 88.94 6% 456% -46% 931% 53% 263%
Prodigy PRGY $ 22.94 1% 493% -55% 238% 345% 33%
MarketWatch MKTW $ 51.00 -3% 200% -61% 665% 13% 165%
Verticalnet VERT $ 71.00 -4% 344% -52% 831% 104% 117%
OneMain ONEM $ 17.75 -7% -19% -62% 113% 25% -36%
Vignette VIGN $ 47.13 -8% 148% -58% 488% 27% 96%
Autoweb AWEB $ 12.50 -10% -11% -75% 257% 15% -22%
  TOTAL 608.25 5% 169% -54% 485% 61% 67%
  AVERAGE 46.79 5% 169% -54% 485% 61% 67%
  MEDIAN 44.00 10% 159% -58% 513% 68% 54%

Of the performers note Healtheon's (NASDAQ:HLTH) slot as the top runner from IPO, up 998%. Hard to believe HLTH was an IPO that came to market after a few attempts last year were withdrawn. Priced at $8 that's some of the reason for the huge run percentage. Another factor is Healtheon's moves to consolidate the fragmented health care Internet arena.

Toss in the very hot Internet healthcare sector in general and there you have it. It helps that Jim Clark founded it with Kleiner Perkins backing.

iVillage (NASDAQ:IVIL), a women's Web network, got overheated in its first few trading days and like many here in the group fell dramatically. June 16 IVIL was 66% of its high.

Financial news site MarketWatch.com (NASDAQ:MKTW), which I think does a fairly comprehensive job covering finance in many ways, June 17 traded 13% off its low. MKTW is 61% off its high.

Two ways of looking at it to me: 1) the franchise ought to command more perhaps but 2) with CBS involved will a takeover ever occur from an outside bidder? Is it time for CBS to follow NBC's lead and roll up some value under a portal umbrella? That's the one thing CBS (NYSE:CBS) lacks--a major Web site with traffic/users/audience.

I think CBS must make a play now that valuations are depressed, infuse some capital, air time for equity. The battle is long term.

Trouble is, few large sites exist to acquire at that level. I think CBS and About.com (NASDAQ:BOUT) make sense, with rolling in Sportsline and MarketWatch into a meta-media player.

Long-term war and armies: Disney, NBC (GE), Time Warner, Microsoft, Paul Allen/Vulcan, Intel, AOL, AT&T, Yahoo. Yes there are others (the telcos, cablecos and other Web firms) but none are as advanced in integrating the right pieces as the above are in my opinion.

Of all of them, AT&T (NYSE:T) seems to have more cash, more reach and more leverage than many.

As the new IPOs come it's getting easier to seewhere the merger magnets are.

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