RealTime IT News

August Internet IPOs Have Aftermarket Legs

They once were a sorry bunch, the August Internet IPOs. With an average first-day gain of 45% above their respective offer prices, the August 'Net offerings still own the record for worst collective ticker debuts of 1999.

Which, of course, gave these stocks plenty of room to move north. And a bunch of them have.

A look at the latest figures from internet.com's IPODEX reveals that the 13 best aftermarket performances - as measured against each stock's respective closing price - belong to companies that went public in August.

Overall, 32 of the 60 companies listed in the current IPODEX, which includes Internet IPOs from August through Oct. 8, have gained in price. That's down from the last time I wrote about the IPODEX, when 36 of 60 companies were up from their first-day close. (See Summer's Aftermarket Stars Still Shine.)

Here are the 10 biggest gainers in the newest IPODEX:

ICGE Internet Capital Group Aug. 5 276%
HOTJ HotJobs.com Aug. 10 244%
INTW InterWorld Aug. 10 115%
ASWX Active Software Aug. 13 99%
SPLT Splitrock Services Aug. 3 97%
BRNC Braun Consulting Aug. 10 93%
LIOX Lionbridge Technologies Aug. 20 82%
AGIL Agile Software Aug. 20 76%
USIT U.S. Interactive Aug. 10 75%
RHAT Red Hat Aug. 11 61%

Six of the companies listed above also were in the Top 10 list published on Sept. 22. They are Internet Capital Group (ICGE) and HotJobs.com (HOTJ), which each retain their respective first- and second-place slots, InterWorld (INTW), Braun Consulting (BRNC), U.S. Interactive (USIT) and Red Hat (RHAT).

The altitude for this group is slightly lower than last time, when nine companies were at least 100% above their first-day closing price, and a 10th was 99% above its debut close.

You can divide the companies in the table into two categories: Those whose presence on the list is due in part to modest or even stumbling opening-day performances, and those that have continued to gain altitude after launching moonshots.

The most impressive showings come from first-place ICGE and No. 9 Red Hat. Offering 15 million shares at $12 each, Internet Capital Group closed its first day of trading at $24 7/16, a 104% gain. The stock has climbed another 276% since then, closing Monday at $92.

Red Hat, meanwhile, had one of the best openings of the year, offering 6 million shares at $14 each, closing at $52 1/16, a 272% first-day gain. Through Monday RHAT shares added 61% on top of that, closing at $83 7/8.

Agile Software (AGIL) also opened strong, closing on its debut at $39 7/8, or 90% above its $21 offer price. The stock on Monday was another 76% above the first-day close.

The biggest aftermarket beneficiary of a slow start is No. 2 HotJobs.com. While its 244% gain is stellar, it comes after an opening which saw HOTJ shares close at $7 5/8, 5% below the $8 offer price for 3 million shares.

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