RealTime IT News

E-tailer Overstock.com Files for IPO

Overstock.com, an online retailer that promises "name brands at clearance prices" in a slew of categories, became the latest dot com to decide to test the waters with an initial public offering.

The Salt Lake City, Utah-based company filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to raise up to $37 million. The allocation of shares and the public offering price are primarily to be based on an auction to be held by WR Hambrecht in which prospective purchasers are required to bid for the shares.

In its filing, the company acknowledges that risks include "a limited operating history, a history of significant losses and we expect to encounter risks and uncertainties frequently faced by early stage companies in rapidly evolving markets."

Although the company's revenues have grown steadily over the past three years to about $40 million in 2001, the company has never made any money and in fact last year lost $13.8 million.

The proposed Nasdaq symbol would be "OSTK."

PayPal became the first dot com to go public in a year when trading began last month.

Overstock.com acquires excess inventory through closeout purchases and bankruptcies and liquidates it through the Internet.

Merchandise offerings include bed-and-bath goods, kitchenware, watches, jewelry, electronics, sporting goods and designer accessories.

The company also operates OverstockB2B.com for small business owners, allowing them to buy small volumes of name-brand inventory at discounts to the wholesale prices that they normally pay.