RealTime IT News

July's Deceptive IPO Swoon

There were enough moonshots sprinkled into the Internet IPOs launched in the latter half of July to make it seem as though the 'Net IPO market was unaffected by the recent slump in Internet stock prices.

But a closer look reveals that the performance of Internet IPOs in the suffered along with the rest of the market. The first-day closing prices of 10 Internet public offerings made in the first half of the month were up an average of 137% from the offer prices. If the month had ended there, it would have been the second-best of the year in terms of successful IPO debuts.

However, as Internet stocks headed south, they took some altitude out of 'Net IPOs. The average first-day return in the latter half of July was only 49%, barely above June's yearly low.

Perhaps the biggest culprit was gluttony: There were 25 Internet IPOs in the last two weeks of July, including an incredible 11 in the last three trading days. With a total of 35, the month sets a new mark for Internet IPO activity. Here are the figures for the year:

Internet IPOs By Month

January - 4 February - 11 March - 13 April - 17 May - 26 June - 32 July - 35
Total - 138

Looking ahead, if the present pace continues, we could see 300 Internet IPOs this year alone. And that's not even counting a number of Internet-related stocks from networking, telco and software companies.

All told, July's Internet IPOs averaged a first-day return of 74%, a far cry from the spring rocketfest, but the best monthly showing since April, when the Internet stock market was at its peak. The figures are below:

Average First-Day Return By Month In 1999

January - 241% February - 122% March - 134% April - 116% May - 59% June - 48% July - 74%

The recent month past saw two of the biggest IPO launches of the year, from search engine company Ask Jeeves and Asian portal China.com.

Several Internet stocks struggled out of the gate in July, including security vendor WatchGuard Technologies, alt-sports content provider Quokka Sports and Cyber Merchants Exchange.

Here are some other Internet IPO numbers through July:

10 Best Debuts of 1999

1. CBS MarketWatch.com (Jan. 15) - 474% 2. Ask Jeeves (July 1) - 364% 3. priceline.com (March 30) - 331% 4. Healtheon (Feb. 11) - 292% 5. Ariba (June 23) - 291% 6. eToys (May 20) - 283% 7. Log On America (April 22) - 250% 8. China.com (July 13) - 236% 9. iVillage (March 19) - 234% 10.Rhythms NetConnections (April 7) - 229%

10 Worst Debuts of 1999

1. US SEARCH.com Corp.(June 25) -- -19% 2. Digital Lava (Feb. 17) -- -14% 3. ZipLink (May 26) -- -12% 4. Juno Online Services (May 26) -- -11% 5. WatchGuard Technologies (July 30) -- -7% 6. COMPS.COM (May 5) -- -5% 7. Quokka Sports (July 28) -- -5% 8. Salon.com (June 22) -- -4.8% 9. Netivation.com (June 23) -- -4.7% 10.Cyber Merchants Exchange (July 22) -- -3%

The following are the Internet IPOs from July and their first-day performance (after the list are links to stories containing debut percentages for all other 'Net IPOs this year):

July 1 - Commerce One (CMRC), 190% July 1 - Clarent, 70% July 1 - Primus Knowledge Solutions, 60% July 1 - Ask Jeeves, 364% July 7 - musicmaker.com, 71% July 8 - Interliant, 68% July 9 - Liquid Audio, 144% July 13 - CommTouch Software, 50% July 13 - China.com, 236% July 14 - TIBCO Software, 116% July 16 - Audible, 133% July 20 - Talk City, 14% July 20 - Engage Technologies, 173% July 20 - Convergent Communications, 43% July 21 - Voyager.net, 0.4% July 21 - MP3.com, 126% July 21 - Hoover's, 57% July 21 - Art Technology Group, 51% July 22 - CyberMerchants Exchange, -3% July 23 - Tanning Technology, 23% July 23 - JFAX.COM, 0% July 23 - InsWeb, 86% July 26 - Freeserve, 36% July 27 - Chemdex, 43% July 28 - Quokka Sports, -5% July 28 - Packeteer, 89% July 28 - Liberate Technologies, 28% July 28 - drugstore.com, 179% July 29 - Perficient, 17% July 29 - Net2Phone, 77% July 30 - WatchGuard Technologies, -7% July 30 - Pacific Softworks, 24% July 30 - N2H2, -1% July 30 - Digex, 31% July 30 - Accrue Software, 22%

List of May IPO debuts

List of January-April IPO debuts


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