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As Weather Warms, Internet IPO Market Stays Hot

If the initial reception of three Internet IPOs that launched earlier in the week is any indication, 'Net stock fever shows no sign of breaking this spring, especially with a number of high-profile offerings expected in April and May.

The new Internet stocks hitting Wall Street this week include: Value America, which opened Thursday at $69.06, more than three times the online retailer's $23 offer price, before closing at $53.25.

This morning the Web superstore's stock began trading at $59. High-speed Internet access provider Rhythms NetConnections, debuting Wednesday at $56 per share, 267% above its $21 offer price, before closing even higher at $69.13. The stock opened this morning at $68.63.

Claimsnet.com, a vendor of online medical and dental claims filing services for health care providers, which saw its shares open Tuesday at $13, 63% above the $8 offer price. Claimsnet.com also closed strong, finishing its first day of trading at $16.50, more than double the offer price. However, Friday morning the company's stock began at $11.19, below the first-day open price.

By the time the market closes for the week, we'll have results from at least a couple more Internet IPOs that priced Friday morning. Eschewing the new trend toward raising the offer price at the last minute, "Generation Y" Web site iTurf set its 4.2 million shares at $22 each, right in line with the initially proposed $21-$22 range. ITurf trades under the Nasdaq ticker symbol TURF.

Internet access and software outsourcer Usinternetworking was less reticent, upping its offer price Friday morning beyond the proposed $15-$18 range for its 6 million shares to $21 each. The company's Nasdaq symbol is USIX.

Neither company's shares had begun trading in the morning session.

Has anybody here seen Razorfish?

Meanwhile, a number of Internet IPOs could hit the street next week, including Razorfish, the digital technology services company that was due out in late March, according to some online IPO calendars. The company, among the most high-profile of New York's "Silicon Alley" players, will trade under the symbol RAZF.

Also look for Internet services company iXL Enterprises (IIXL) anytime soon, along with access provider Log On America (LOAX), smart-card maker Litronic (LTNX), Web site tools vendor NetObjects (NETO) and etailer eToys (ETYS).



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