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RealTime IT News

Where Are They Now? 3 IPOs One Year Later

Beginning Tuesday, The Midday Report each month will review the stock and financial performance of Internet companies as they near the anniversaries of their public offerings. Today we'll look at Exodus Communications, CyberShop International and ISS Group, all of which went public last March.

Exodus on the upswing

With a four-month surge in share prices and a 2-for-1 stock split pending this week, Exodus Communications looks for now to be a solid investment for anyone who bought prior to last December.

Based in Santa Clara, Calif., Exodus offers companies with Web sites a range of outsourced services, including server hosting, Internet access and site management. Its CEO is former Apple Computer Inc. chief technology officer Ellen Hancock.

Through most of last year the company's stock, offered at $15 per share, traded in the $20 to $45 range - pretty good, especially at the top part of that range, but not a chart that spells Internet shooting star.

Exodus' stock price - along with that of many other public Internet companies - hit bottom on Oct. 7, with some shares selling for just 50 cents above the initial offer amount. Since then it's been all uphill for Exodus and its investors. The company's stock price closed above $50 for the first time on Dec. 10 and reached $75 on Jan. 7.

Share price surged to $113 on Jan. 28 following release of a year-end earnings report that showed impressive revenue growth and the announcement of the stock split, which is scheduled to be voted on by shareholders on Thursday.

Exodus' stock opened Tuesday at $103.94 a share.

CyberShop's sluggish shares

You can buy practically anything from CyberShop International's Web site - clothes, watches, furniture, toys, gourmet food - anything, apparently, except a consistently robust stock performance.

Priced at $6.50 per share, CyberShop's stock has spent most of its one year on Nasdaq in single-digit land.

It's brief shining moment came on Nov. 30, when it share prices briefly hit the $30 mark, only to fall under $20 by day's end. As with Exodus, the low point came on Oct. 7, when some CyberShop shares traded for a measly $2.75 each.

After trading between $10 and $12 for most of January, CyberShop's stock has been trading below $8 since mid-February. Even the announcement on Feb. 16 that 1998 revenues were 222% above 1997's ($4.8 million to $1.5 million, respectively) failed to move share prices for the New York-based company.

However, rumors of an advertising and marketing agreement with Yahoo - a deal announced yesterday (March 15) - spiked shares up to $12 last Friday. CyberShop stock opened Tuesday at $9.375 a share.

ISS continues to soar

ISS Group, parent company of Internet Security Systems, jumped out of the gate when it went public last March, closing on opening day at $40 a share, nearly twice the $22 offer price.

Since then the Atlanta-based company's stock performance has been remarkably consistent, trading for the most part through last year from the high $30s through the mid-$40s.

After dropping down to $17 a share on (when else?) Oct. 7, ISS stocks climbed back to their previous trading range in December, just in time to catch the latest Internet bull market. ISS stock now is trading near its all-time high ($84 on Jan. 11), opening Tuesday at $83.

On Jan. 25, ISS reported fourth-quarter revenues of $13 million, a 157% increase over Q4 '97 revenues, and 1998 revenues of $35.9 million, 167% above 1997's $13.5 million revenue. Net loss in 1998 were $4.1 million, but losses declined from $1.64 million in Q1 to $.79 million in Q4.



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