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RealTime IT News

Crowded Field May Spell Trouble

With more than a dozen IPOs slated for next week, it may be too soon to say that IPO stands for "Is the Party Over?" Investors will be able to pick and choose among good offerings, but none that shout "Buy Me Now!"

ValueClick has gone up the underwriter value chain by switching over to Goldman Sachs. ValueClick is an online advertisement specialist company, one of the largest networks of Web sites for banner advertising.

ValueClick's network consists of over 11,000 small- to medium-sized Web sites. Its network, according to Media Metrix, serves ads that reach 25% of U.S. Internet users.

In January, ValueClick delivered over 2.0 billion Web advertisements. It also received $85 million from DoubleClick for a 30% equity stake. This was a pretty savvy move, indicating that ValueClick probably has lots of strategic value.

The proposed ticker symbol is VCLK. The price range is $11 to $13.

If it's hard to get good help today, then look at this IPO. Opus360, based in New York, helps corporations, professional services firms, staffing vendors and other buyers of project-based talent to identify and hire independent professionals, consultants and other knowledge workers.

They also have an exchange, Freeagent.com, which allows free agents to identify and bid for projects. As of last December, they had more than 34,000 free agents that could bid on projects submitted by more than 680 organizations. It's a pretty cool idea and should generate interest from investors next week.

Robertson Stephens is the lead underwriter. The price range is $9 to $11 and the proposed ticker symbol is OPUS.

Of course, once you've hired, you can have other problems.

Websense provides Internet-filtering software and related services so that businesses can monitor and manage how their employees use the Internet. It's Big Brother. But, hey, it makes money.

IDC estimates that more than 30 percent of employee Internet activity in the workplace is non-work-related. This personal use of company Internet access results in lost productivity and increased network bandwidth consumption.

As of January, more than 7,500 organizations in over 50 countries are using Websense technology. This includes American Express Co., Coca-Cola Co., Compaq Computer Corp., and Deloitte & Touche LLP.

Chase H&Q is the lead underwriter. The proposed ticker symbol is WBSN and the price range is $12 to $14.