RealTime IT News

E-Mailbag Monday: Upcoming IPOs, Priceline.com, Getting IPO Info

What looks good in the IPO market this week?

Reply: Well, the biggest should be Palm, which is a spin-off of 3Com, whose stock has soared since it announced the IPO. Of course, Palm is the maker of the Palm Pilot, which is a handheld computer device. The latest version, Palm VII, allows connectivity to the Net. In all, Palm has 68 percent of the handheld market worldwide. As of the end of last year, the company sold 5.5 million Palm devices. There are 33,000 third-party developers that create software for the Palm Operating System. As for revenues, these were $1 million in 1995 and soared to $564 million last year.

The lead underwriter is Goldman Sachs and the proposed ticker symbol is PALM.

Another hot one looks like MatrixOne. The company is a leading provider of corporate collaboration software. What makes it different is that the technology is developed for global organizations. Customers include Selestica, Honda, Honeywell, John Deere, Scania, Siemens, and 3Com.

Matrixone commercially shipped its first product in November 1993, which led to their first Internet business product in March 1997. Currently Matrixone supports over 300 companies located in over 40 countries. Total revenues in fiscal 1997 were $12.2 million and increased over 300 percent to $41.3 million in fiscal 1999.

The price range on this IPO is $20-22 (up from the original $12-14 price range), and the lead underwriter is Goldman Sachs. The proposed ticker symbol is MONE.

Priceline.com: What Price?

What's your view on priceline.com?

Reply: I've written about this company several times. Unfortunately, the stock has gone nowhere. The company has a unique business model -- made possible only through the Web. Known as the "name your price" system, it seems applicable to any type of service or product (the technology is patent protected). For example, last week priceline.com announced that it plans to use its pricing service for gasoline purchases. So, users can go to the site and name their price for up to 50 gallons per month. The result? Cost savings are expected to range from 10 to 20 cents per gallon.

Also this week there was a strong vote of confidence for the company. The chief financial officer of Citigroup, Heidi Miller, decided to take the position as CFO of priceline.com. She was named the second most powerful woman in business, according to Fortune. Obviously, she could get a job anywhere -- and she chose priceline.com.

IPO Info: Getting the Good Stuff

What are good sources of IPO information?

Reply: Only a couple years ago, IPO information was the domain of institutions, who had the resources to spend thousands of dollars on research. With the emergence of the Web, now all investors have access to IPO information -- much of it for free.

Sites I use include Alert-IPO, IPO.com, and CBS MarketWatch. But internet.com has also begun offering IPO information, which is called the IPO Tracker. On the site, there are articles that cover upcoming IPOs, IPO performance and company profiles.