RealTime IT News

Getting A Caffeine Fix

Last week, the mighty Starbucks announced its quarterly results. Even with a slowing economy, people are still buying high-priced coffee. In the past quarter, net earnings surged from $34.7 million to $49 million. In fact, the company raised guidance for 2001.

In all, the company operates 3,800 coffee shops. For 2001, Starbucks plans to establish 1,100 more.

Actually, it was a good week for coffee companies, as Peet's Coffee decided to hit the IPO markets. The company sold 2.5 million shares, raising $20 million. The lead underwriter was WR Hambrecht, which uses OpenIPO, the new-fangled online auction system to fund IPOs.

On the first day of trading, the stock rose 17.2% to $9.38. However, there were some warning signs. For example, the offering range was reduced from $10-$14 to $8-$12, with the IPO being priced ultimately at $8. The market cap is about $74 million.

Basically, the company is a niche player. There are only 58 stores and 80% of revenues come from California. Unfortunately, over the long-term, niche restaurant IPOs usually do not perform well.

The other IPO for last week was Align Technology . The company is the developer of the so-called "Invisalign" system, which are clear, removable orthodontic devices (essentially, to correct misaligned teeth).

The price range was $14-$16. The offering price? It was at $13. Although, the stock increased to $17.31 on its first day of trading. The company attained an impressive market cap of $805 million.

The company is definitely early stage. For the first nine months of 2000, losses were $53.3 million and revenues were a mere $3.2 million.

Upcoming IPOs

Yet again, this week will also be light for the IPO market. With California strapped for energy, investors may have interest in the ATP Oil & Gas IPO. The company is a oil producer in the outer continental shelf of the Gulf of Mexico (the company has recently acquired properties in the Southern Gas Basin of the UK).

According to Inc. Magazine, the company was rated as the 21st fastest private company in the U.S. and the fastest for energy companies. For the first nine months of 2000, the company had sales of $59.3 million. But losses were $4.3 million.

A good sign is that the underwriter increased the price range from $14-$17 to $15-$18. The lead underwriter is Lehman Brothers and the proposed ticker symbol is ATPG.

Next, Exact plans to go public. This is a biotech company that is at the nascent stage. The company has ten patents for the detection of colorectal cancer. This is the most deadly form of cancer for non-smokers. Yet, if detected early, the disease can be treated effectively.

For the first nine months of 2000, revenues were $3.8 million and losses were $6.8 million. The company plans to issue 4 million shares at the price range of $14-$16. The lead underwriter is Merrill Lynch and the proposed ticker symbol is EXAS.