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IPO Market: Head-Start on Fireworks

As we prepare for barbecues and fireworks, the IPO market has been celebrating beforehand. However, next week will only have a handful of IPOs because of the Fourth of July holidays.

Keep an eye on Exfo. Based in Canada, the company develops test equipment for the fiber industry. And, as everyone knows, investors are enamored with anything related to fiber. The testing/monitoring market is crucial. Mistakes can be costly for fiber companies.

But the company is not a concept firm. It has been profitable since the mid 1980s and has such great customers as AT&T, Bell Atlantic, Nortel, JDS Uniphase, Lucent and US West.

Beacuse of the strong demand for the IPO, the price range was increased from $20-$22 to $23-$25. The number of shares was also increased: going from 6 million shares to 7 million shares.

The lead underwriter is Merrill Lynch and the proposed ticker symbol is EXFO.

After much delay, divine interVentures is expected to go public next week. No, this is not an online religious site. Although, the firm has probably been doing much praying lately. Divine interVentures is an Internet incubator. Incubators finance and support small Internet companies at the early stages. However, investors have soured on incubators (perhaps the reason is that there are so many of them).

The lead underwriter is Robertson Stephens and the price range is $13-$15. The proposed ticker symbol is DVIN.

Next, there is the Entegris IPO. The company develops technologies for quality assurance for disk manufacturers and semiconductor manufacturers. The company is an innovator. For example, it created the first perfluoroalkoxy (which is fusion-bonded piping and I'm not sure what it means).

The lead underwriter is Merrill Lynch and the price range is $13-$15. The proposed ticker symbol is ENTG.

In other words, don't exect too much action for next week.



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