Cold Aftermarket Greets Latest Internet IPOs

For the first time in months, a majority of stocks listed in’s IPODEX — which tracks recent aftermarket performance of
Internet public offerings — are trading below their respective
first-day closing prices.

Through Tuesday’s trading, 26 of the 48 Internet stocks that launched
IPOs in November and December were worth less than they were when the
closing bell rang on their ticker debuts.

That leaves only 22 of the recent IPOs, or 46 percent, exceeding their
first-day close, well below the 60 to 70 percent we’ve seen through the late
summer and fall.

The best performer so far from the November and December Internet IPOs
is Web marketing and advertising company Be Free (BFRE),
which through Tuesday’s trading was priced at 72, or 148 percent above the Nov.
3 close of 29. That Tuesday close also is 500 percent above BFRE’s $12 offer

Other big aftermarket gainers include:

Retek (RETK),
a seller of Web-based inventory management software, up 117 percent from its
Nov. 18 closing price; SciQuest (SQST),
an online seller of science lab equipment, up 110 percent from its Nov. 19
close; and ‘Net services player GRIC Communications (GRIC),
which has gained 101 percent since its Dec. 15 close.

The biggest loser from the latest IPODEX (through Tuesday) is (PNVN),
a company that offers Internet access to truck drivers at various truck
stops across the country, down 50 percent from its Nov. 24 close. Even worse
for PNVN investors, the stock finished its first day of trading at
$15.50, below the $17 offer price.

Not far behind is online toyseller (SKDS),
whose decision to go public in the middle of the holiday shopping season
seems to have backfired. The stock was offered on Nov. 23 at $14, and
ended the day at that same price. It closed at 7 15/16 on Tuesday, or
43 percent below its first-day finish.

You can check out the rest of the aftermarket performances in the IPODEX.

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