RealTime IT News

All Quiet On The Internet IPO Front

The Internet IPO market may be on a late-summer hiatus, but any resemblance to last year's prolonged drought is merely coincidental.

In the months of September and October last year, only one Internet company -- online auction leader eBay Inc. (EBAY) -- went public during an early fall market downturn. That was on Sept. 24. It wasn't until Nov. 11 that the market saw the next Internet ticker debut, when EarthWeb began trading.

The latest Internet IPOs this year came on Aug. 26, when bamboo.com (BAMB) and ImageX.com (IMXS) launched their respective stock offerings. That was 12 days ago Tuesday. With no Internet IPOs slated to go out through Friday, we conceivably could get halfway through September without any new 'Net stock action.

But the pipeline is too backed up, with Internet IPO filings continuing to flood the SEC, for the bottleneck to last. A number of Internet companies are scheduled to go public in the latter half of September, though there doesn't appear to be an eBay in the bunch.

Perhaps the most well-known of this month's expected Internet IPOs are in the health sector. Both AmericasDoctor.com and HealthGate Data are due to go public during the week of Sept. 20.

HealthGate has been stuck on hold for weeks now, having filed way back in April. The company provides online health care information to medical professionals, as well as online health magazines for consumers. While the numbers could change, for now HealthGate plans to sell 4.6 million shares between $10 and $12 for a $50.6 million offering. Ticker symbol will be HGAT.

AmericasDoctor.com is geared more toward consumers, providing health and medical information, news (Tuesday's feature story: "Don't Let Incontinence Ruin Your Life") and communities divided by ailments (allergies, migraines, sleeping disorders, etc.).

It's a slick-looking site, measuring up well to drkoop.com. But with revenues of $62,000 in 1998 and $546,000 so far in 1999, AmericasDoctor.com is another extremely premature IPO. (In contrast, drkoop.com had $1 million in revenues in Q2 alone.)

AmericasDoctor.com hopes to raise $65.2 million in an offering of 7.25 million shares in the $8 to $10 price range. Nasdaq ticker is AMDR; lead underwriter is Warburg Dillon Read.

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