RealTime IT News

iVillage Makes Stunning Debut

Investors showed they still have a hearty appetite for Internet issues Friday as they bid up shares of women's Web network iVillage Inc. on its opening day of trading.

iVillage (IVIL) shares rocketed to close 80-1/8 Friday after being priced at 24. Shares opened early Friday afternoon at 96.

Like many Internet-related issues, iVillage continues to lose money. The company reported losses of $43.7 million last year. However, its highly-desirable targeted demographic of affluent women between 25 and 49 has helped iVillage lure investments from several famous names including NBC, Intel and America Online Inc.

iVillage is about to face increasing competition, however. AOL, Carsey-Werner-Mandabach and Oprah Winfrey's HARPO Entertainment Group are combining to launch Oxygen Media Inc. which is set to debut later this spring.

AOL is also an investor in iVillage.

Publishing giant Hearst Corp.'s Women.com is also targeting that demographic.