RealTime IT News

IPOs Fall As Newer Issues Pop

Cool summer. This Net IPO group fell 12.3% since July 15 as new issues soaked up liquidity. Who? MP3.com (NASDAQ:MPPP), Gadzoox (NASDAQ:ZOOX), to name two. But let's see how the "older" IPOs have done, those more than a month old anyway.

Biggest gainer in the IPO group, in fact the only gainer was Vignette (NASDAQ:VIGN), with a paltry 3.7% rise. Compared to its sibling IPO-u-tantes in the table that's a home run.

AskJeeves (NASDAQ:ASKJ) shares dropped the most with a 25% slide to $46 per share from $61.88. The butler has no answer as to why.

Of those in the group that I find attractive there's only two: Autoweb, since it hasn't had any recognition from IPO and BackWeb (NASDAQ:BWEB). Let's talk more about BackWeb.

I think there's a trend towards business-to-business, seamless, invisible dataflow. Just flow it. And that's what BackWeb allows, its software sends files of all sorts delivered according to schedule and priority. Effective bandwidth and file management.

Let's see the box:

Company Stock Shares IPO share 22-Jul Percent
name Symbol sold price close change vs. 7/15
Vignette VIGN 4.00 $ 19.00 $ 73.00 3.7%
BackWeb BWEB 5.50 $ 12.00 $ 30.38 -3.6%
MarketWatch MKTW 2.75 $ 17.00 $ 47.81 -6.9%
OneMain ONEM 8.50 $ 22.00 $ 26.75 -8.9%
Allaire ALLR 2.50 $ 20.00 $ 57.13 -9.3%
drkoop.com KOOP 9.40 $ 9.00 $ 31.06 -9.5%
Autoweb AWEB 5.00 $ 14.00 $ 14.00 -10.0%
Verticalnet VERT 3.50 $ 16.00 $ 96.38 -10.7%
Healtheon HLTH 5.00 $ 8.00 $ 56.25 -12.1%
Prodigy PRGY 8.00 $ 15.00 $ 23.88 -12.6%
iVillage IVIL 3.65 $ 24.00 $ 49.75 -12.8%
WebTrends WEBT 3.50 $ 13.00 $ 36.00 -13.0%
StarMedia STRM 7.00 $ 15.00 $ 46.75 -13.8%
Pacific Internet PCNTF 3.00 $ 17.00 $ 39.25 -14.7%
Marimba MRBA 4.00 $ 20.00 $ 40.00 -17.1%
Priceline.com PCLN 10.00 $ 16.00 $ 83.56 -17.4%
About.com BOUT 3.00 $ 25.00 $ 37.38 -21.1%
Ask Jeeves ASKJ 3.00 $ 14.00 $ 46.00 -25.7%
  TOTAL 91.30 296.00 835.31 -12.3%
  AVERAGE 5.07 16.44 46.41 -12.3%
  MEDIAN 4.00 16.00 43.00 -13.7%

drkoop.com (NASDAQ:KOOP) posted a second-quarter loss of $1.28 per share on $1 million revenue. The newbie IPO came out in June and now boasts 328,000 registered users, up 121% vs. the previous quarter.

That translates into a value per registered user of $2,605.79, which I think seems reasonable if the good doc can actually find a way to monetize those users, maybe selling health and nutrition supplies to them or selling the user base to pharmaceutical firms--a much more likely scenario.

VerticalNet (NASDAQ:VERT) showed strong second-quarter results with a 505% jump in revenue to $3.55 million, a notable increase in my view. Net loss reflects its commitment to expand so I am not as concerned with the $6.76 million loss ($0.40 loss per share) at this juncture as it seeks to grow.

However, I think VERT, which also announced a 2-for-1 stock split, may be a little ahead of itself at this point. If you actually delve into the site for depth it appears somewhat limited to mostly content. The potential looks there to deliver the promise but not yet.

Autoweb (NASDAQ:AWEB) coverage was begun by Needham & Co. July 22 with "buy." The Web-based auto buying referral service has 4 buys and 1 strong buy on the stock from various investment banks. Autoweb posted $7 million in 2Q revenue vs. $2.8 2Q98. Loss reached $2.9 million vs. $2.1 million.


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