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Good, Bad and Cosmetically Challenged: Internet IPOs Show Strength in Numbers

Nine Internet initial public offerings gained 91% as a group this year through a stock market taking cues from a call-in schizophrenic hot line lately.

The "he said, she said, they said" choppy ride for the past few days hasn't knocked the steam out of brandshare, marketshare, mindshare leaders, however.

Broadcast.com (NASDAQ:BCST), Inktomi (NASDAQ:INKT), Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM), Verisign (NASDAQ:VRSN), and ISS Group (NASDAQ:ISSX) all are up triple digit from initial pricing.

Those top four stocks sat about mid-way between the high and low for each also, indicating moderation in all things may be at work here, including stocks.

Our exclusive crunching of the numbers, high-plains drifters, sifters and sought afters:

1998 Internet IPO Roundup

IPO price

Price Aug 6

% Change




$ 18.00

$ 56.50


$ 74.00

$ 47.00


$ 18.00

$ 47.75


$ 88.75

$ 30.75


$ 24.00

$ 60.13


$ 83.75

$ 47.00


$ 14.00

$ 30.06


$ 49.00

$ 20.50

ISS Group

$ 22.00

$ 46.38


$ 56.63

$ 31.63


$ 9.00

$ 14.19


$ 32.50

$ 9.25

Cyberian Outpost

$ 18.00

$ 17.63


$ 26.00

$ 17.13


$ 16.00

$ 14.00


$ 39.00

$ 11.06


$ 19.00

$ 14.75


$ 34.63

$ 12.25







) 1998 Mecklermedia (NASDAQ:MECK), Internet.com

As reported in Internet Stock Report on August 6, Websteader and top 10 Web site GeoCities plans to launch next week with a pricing perhaps set for Tuesday, and trading starting on Wednesday.

Many readers e-mailed us and asked how they can get in on it. Buying shares at the IPO price is next to impossible although some Web-based brokerages have small batches. E*TRADE may have some GeoCities shares for its members.

One thing the table highlights is the staying power so far for top-tier deals. There's been much ballyhoo about a soft IPO market in general this year, but Internet offerings seem to have beat the 'Street.

The three IPOs trading below first-day pricing do so thanks to peers squeezing the sector that each is in. Cyberian competes with Egghead.com (NASDAQ:EGGS), Software.net (NASDAQ:SWNT), Digital River (IPO pending), MicroWarehouse, and scores of other software etailers. A crowded space.

CDNow (NASDAQ:CDNW) and N2K (NASDAQ:NTKI) feel the heat from Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) which is getting into music and video and leveraging its book base into wider etailing.

Consolidation of music and video store Web sites may be needed to fend off Amazon's drive to achieve the mega-store status it craves as evidenced by the $284 million deals for shopping search engine Junglee and contact management service PlanetAll.

What Yahoo!, Excite, Lycos and Infoseek fail to understand is that Amazon is the biggest threat any of them has seen yet. Not Microsoft. Amazon is cashed up through its $325 million bond placement and a stock that's better than cash.

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