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RealTime IT News

A Light Menu Of Internet IPOs

If a light diet is best after Thanksgiving, then Internet IPO investors should be in good shape, for only a small number of new Net stocks are scheduled to be served up this week.

The menu features only seven companies, ranging from a tiny appetizer (Streamedia Communications' $8.5 million offering) to one relatively rich item (AGENCY.COM's $64.9 million IPO).

Based in New York's Silicon Alley, AGENCY.COM plays in an increasingly crowded field -- Web site consulting and design. Among its competitors are iXL Enterprises (IIXL), USWeb/CKS (USWB) and Modem Media.Poppe Tyson (MMPT) .

With revenue of $56.5 million in the first three quarters of this year (triple the revenue for the same period in '98), AGENCY.COM isn't in the same league as iXL ($142.6 million through Q3) or USWeb/CKS ($324 million), but compares favorably to Modem Media ($49.5 million) and several other competitors.

And despite an aggressive acquisition strategy (eight companies since 1998), losses have been kept under control ($2.5 million in '98 and $6.6 million this year).

AGENCY.COM's stock debut may have had more fuel a few weeks ago, when the consultants/designers sector was on a huge run, but it still has firepower in the guise of Goldman Sachs, which is lead underwriter for the offering of 5.9 million shares (in the $10-$12 price range). Nasdaq ticker symbol will be ACOM. Look for this IPO to get a good reception from the street.

Streamedia, on the other hand, may be a harder sell for investors. The company, also based in New York, has only been in existence since April 1998 and has yet to generate any revenues.

But it's full of big plans nonetheless. Streamedia intends to offer audio and video programming on the Internet and counts among its competitors audiohighway.com (AHWY) , SportsLine.com (SPLN) and Yahoo (YHOO), which earlier this year purchased broadcast.com.

With no track record, no revenues and lots of competition, look for Streamedia to be tuned out by investors when it debuts. Lead underwriter for the offering of 1 million shares at an expected price of $8.50 is Redstone Securities. Streamedia will trade under the Nasdaq symbol SMILU.


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