Back in the Saddle

They’re back…

Yes, it has been a long slumber since we saw an IPO. And, unfortunately, it
will take some time for the IPO market to mend its wounds. Yet, the recent
strength in Nasdaq should pave the way for a healthy IPO market.

Okay, we only have three IPOs planned for this week – none of which are
Internet companies.

While many IPOs were failures last year, the biotech sector was fairly
strong. So, it is no surprise that this week there is a biotech company
ready to hit the markets. The company is
Xenogen.

The company is in the exotic field known as biophotonic imaging. Know what
this is? Well, it is definitely complex. It helps deal with disease
tracking.

The company is young, with its products introduced in 1997. Although, the
company has been able to sign marketing agreements with such giants as
Pfizer and Novartis.

Yet, the revenue base is still small. In the first nine months of 2000,
revenues were $7.2 million and losses were $10.2 million. This is likely to
be troubling for IPO investors.

The lead underwriter is UBS Warburg and the price range is $10-$12 (the
company plans to issue 7 million shares). The proposed ticker symbol is
XGEN.

Next,
Peet’s Coffee
plans to go public. It is a competitor to Starbucks (and I think the coffee may
be even more expensive at Peet’s).

But unlike the Seattle powerhouse, Peet’s is a shadow of Starbucks. For the
first nine months of 2000, the company had revenues of $59.4 million and
losses of $2.7 million.

What is interesting about the IPO is the means of distribution. The company
will sell shares using an online Dutch auction system called
OpenIPO. However, because of the small size of
the company, do not expect many fireworks.

The lead underwriter is WR Hambrecht and the price range is $10-$14 (the
company plans to issue 3.3 million shares). The proposed ticker symbol is
PEET.

Rather, it looks like this week’s hot IPO will be
Align Technology.
The company is gunning after the huge market for crooked teeth. Of course,
one solution is braces. But they don’t look particularly attractive, right?
Well, Align has developed clear braces.

But there is no guarantee with this company. It is, for the most part,
early stage. For the first nine months of 2000, losses were a staggering
$53.3 million and revenues were a mere $3.5 million. Then again, the
company has recently launched a TV advertising campaign.

The lead underwriter is DB Alex. Brown and the price range is $14-$16 (the
company plans to issue 10 million shares). The proposed ticker symbol is
ALGN.

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