RealTime IT News

Internet IPOs Begin Year With A Blast

The Internet IPO floodgates opened in February, with 27 Net companies going public after a quiet January.

The low number (five) of Internet IPOs in January was no surprise; it's traditionally a slower month for new offerings. But February was far busier than the same month a year ago, when only 11 Internet tickers debuted.

Unlike last summer, however, when excess supply of Internet IPOs drove down first-day performances, the 27 February offerings posted an average first-day gain of 126 percent, better than the 122 percent average gain in February 1999.

Eight of the 32 Internet IPOs this year have at least tripled in price in their respective first days on the ticker -- that's one out of four. Conversely, only three failed to gain any altitude.

The most eye-catching opener came from webMethods, which makes B2B software using Extensible Markup Language, or XML, a technology that some people believe will be the next Linux.

Early last month I had predicted a huge debut for webMethods ("don't be surprised by an opening-day gain of 300 percent or more"). I thought I was being bold, but WEBM's 508 percent increase made my forecast appear pretty timid. It also may not be matched by another Internet company this year. In fact, webMethods' rocket blast topped all 258 Internet IPOs from last year.

Here's how things looks so far compared to 1999:

Month This year 1999
January 5 4
February 2711
Total 32 15

Average First-Day Return (By Month)

Month This Year 1999
January 160% 241%
February 126% 122%

10 Best Internet Debuts of 2000

Company IPO Date Gain
webMethods Feb. 11 508%
FirePond Feb. 4 356%
Neoforma.com Jan. 24 303%
Extensity Jan. 27 256%
GigaMedia Feb. 17 226%
net.Genesis Feb. 29 216%
eMerge Interactive Feb. 4 215%
Avenue A Feb. 29 200%
Vicinity Feb. 9 187%
Delano Technology Feb. 9 181%

10 Worst Internet Debuts of 2000

CompanyIPO DateGain/Loss
VarsityBooks.comFeb. 15 -1%
SAVVIS Communications Feb. 15 0%
Pets.comFeb. 11 0%
b2bstores.com Feb. 152%
eSafetyWorldFeb. 18 6%
HealthGate Data Jan. 26 7%
SkillSoft Feb. 1 29%
FASTNETFeb. 839%
Lending Tree Feb. 16 50%
Sunhawk.com Feb. 15 54%

Here are all of the Internet IPOs from January and February, along with their first-day performances: