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RealTime IT News

Ramp Zooms, Salon.com Flounders

Tuesday's highly anticipated initial public offerings ended mixed in a session that saw Internet providers rocket on takeover speculation. The sector's big-cap stocks came away losers, dragging down the market averages.

internet.com's Internet Stock Index lost 17.95, or 3.43 percent, to 505.22 after being in positive territory at midday, the Nasdaq Composite lost 50.02 to 2,580.26 and the Dow Jones industrial average lost 94.35 to 10,721.63.

Ramp Networks Inc. (RAMP) soared 5-3/4 to 16-3/4 on its first day of trading. The company, which offers Internet solutions for small businesses, sold 4 million shares at $11 Monday, raising $44 million.

Meanwhile, online magazine Salon.com (SALN) had a much worse first day, ending in the red. Shares lost 1/2 to 10. The company priced 2.5 million shares at $10.50 each, raising $26.25 million. Salon's IPO attracted much attention because it is the first Internet public offering made through lead underwriter W.R. Hambrecht & Co.'s OpenIPO Web auction site.

EarthLink Network Inc. (ELNK) soared 9-5/8 to 57-1/4 on rumors that Gateway Inc. might bid on the ISP.

Concentric Network Corp. (CNCX) was up 1-3/4 to 34-1/4 after announcing Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) will invest $50 million as part of an expanded business relationship. Concentric will establish a co-branded version of Microsoft's MSN portal and will co-market Windows NT application hosting services. Concentric will also spend $7.5 million to market its services on MSN.

Mindspring Enterprises Inc. (MSPG) ended up 3-11/16 to 73-5/8 while PSINet Inc. (PSIX) was unable to hold onto its gains, losing 5/8 to 44-1/4.

Excite@Home (ATHM)dropped 3-5/8 to 54-1/4 despite a "buy" rating from William Blair & Co., who initiated coverage on the stock Tuesday

Juno Online Services Inc. (JWEB) rose for a second day on positive analyst comments. Shares added 2-3/16 to 16-5/16.

eBay Inc. (EBAY) lost 3-7/8 to 148-3/16 after trading as high as 160. The online auctioneer Tuesday acquired alando.de AG, a leading auction site in Germany.

Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) lost 6 to 117-1/2. The company Tuesday said it had retained two recruiting firms to search for its first chief operating officer and a new chief financial officer.

Another strong gainer was E-Net (ETEL). The company, which develops hardware and software for wire transmissions over the Internet, soared 3-3/16 to 6-3/8 after announcing it will offer free Internet phone service.

Phone.com Inc. (PHCM) soared 7-1/16 to 53-1/16. The provider of software that allows wireless telephone companies to offer their customers Internet access signed a licensing deal with Italy's Omnitel.

Shares of CMGI Inc. (CMGI) dropped 8-1/16 to 94-15/16 on speculation the company may bid for Compaq Computer Corp.'s AltaVista search engine.

Priceline.com Inc. (PCLN) added 2-7/16 to 108-3/4 after hitting 119-7/16 earlier. That company's shares have soared more than 30 percent over the past five sessions.

StarMedia (STRM) gained 1/2 to 50-1/2 on reports it is opening new branches in Spain.


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