dcsimg
RealTime IT News

Internet IPOs Heat Up A Cold November

With one month left in 1999, the Internet IPO market is coming full circle. It started the year red-hot, cooled off in the middle months, and is sizzling again as we head into December.

The collective first-day performance for Net IPOs in November was 118 percent, the best debut average since last March.

Ten of the 25 Internet stocks that hit the street last month more than doubled in price in their respective first day of trading, while only one IPO (from PNV.net, which provides Internet access for truck drivers) finished below its offer price.

The top first-day performer in November is also tops for the year. Cobalt Networks (COBT), which sells Linux-based server appliances, caching and e-commerce security software, ended MarketWatch.com's (MKTW) long reign as the No. 1 debuting Net stock by closing its initial day of trading at 128 1/8, a stunning 482 percent above its $22 offer price.

MarketWatch.com went public on Jan. 15, closing trading at 474 percent above its offer price. More than 200 other Internet companies have gone public since, but none were able to eclipse MKTW until Cobalt soared off the launch pad on Nov. 5.

Caching appliance vendor CacheFlow (CFLO) rocketed into fourth place among this year's IPO debuts when it ended its first day on the ticker at 126 3/8, or 427 percent above its $24 offer price.

Here's how the year looks with one month to go:

Internet IPOs By Month

January - 4
February - 11
March - 13
April - 17
May - 26
June - 32
July - 35
August - 26
September - 26
October - 21
November -- 25
Total - 236

Average First-Day Return By Month In 1999

January - 241%
February - 122%
March - 134%
April - 116%
May - 59%
June - 48%
July - 74%
August - 45%
September - 72%
October - 112%
November - 118%

10 Best Debuts of 1999

  1. Cobalt Networks (Nov. 5), 482%
  2. MarketWatch.com (Jan. 15), 474%
  3. Akamai Technologies (Oct. 29), 458%
  4. CacheFlow (Nov. 19), 427%
  5. Sycamore Networks (Oct. 22), 386%
  6. Ask Jeeves (July 1), 364%
  7. priceline.com (March 30), 331%
  8. Calico Commerce (Oct. 7), 300%
  9. Alteon WebSystems (Sept. 24), 294%
  10. Healtheon (Feb. 11), 292%

10 Worst Debuts of 1999

  1. The Cobalt Group (Aug. 5), -24%
  2. US SEARCH.com Corp. (June 25), -19%
  3. BigStar Entertainment (Aug. 3), -18%
  4. Webstakes.com (Sept. 24), -18%
  5. ZapMe! (Oct. 20), -14%
  6. Quotesmith.com (Aug. 3), -14%
  7. 1-800-FLOWERS.COM (Aug. 3), -13%
  8. Digital Lava (Feb. 17), -13%
  9. ZipLink (May 26), -12%
  10. VitaminShoppe.com (Oct. 8), -11%

Here are the Internet IPOs from November and their first-day performances (following the list are links to stories containing debut percentages for all other Net IPOs this year):

Nov. 3 - Be Free (BFRE), 142%
Nov. 4 - Tickets.com (TIXX), 54%
Nov. 5 - Webvan (WEBV), 66%
Nov. 5 - Cobalt Networks (COBT), 482%
Nov. 9 - Netzee (NETZ), 6%
Nov. 10 - iB