Falling to Earth and Below

On Wednesday we looked at Internet companies listed in internet.com’s
IPODEX — currently comprised of those going public in July and August —
that have had the best after-market performance relative to their
first-day closing prices.

Today we’ll journey to the bottom of the list to see which Internet
stocks have fared the worst since their IPOs.

Backing up a bit, the latest IPODEX figures show 40 of the 60 companies
that went public in July and August were trading above their respective
first-day closing prices through Tuesday.

Given the 11 percent drop in
internet.com’s Internet Stock Index during that period, as well as the
general softness in the IPO market noted by many observers, the
generally strong aftermarket showing of the IPODEX companies is somewhat

Nonetheless, 20 stocks have given ground since their IPO debut. Here are
the 10 biggest losers in the current IPODEX:

MPPP MP3.com July 21 -50%
CONV Convergent July 20 -48%
ADBL Audible July 16 -46%
CMEE Cyber Merchants July 22 -44%
ASKJ Ask Jeeves July 1 -43%
JFAX JFAX.COM July 23 -42%
HOOV Hoover’s July 21 -40%
HITS musicmaker.com July 7 -37%
CTCH CommTouch Software July 13 -36%
FREE Freeserve July 26 -33%

Overall, it’s a pretty tightly bunched group, with all 10 having gone
public in July.

But while Web music download site MP3.com may have
fallen the farthest from its first-day closing price, it had the
third-best opening day of any company listed above, finishing trading on
July 21 at 126 percent above the $28 per share offer price.

Consequently, MPPP
was selling at 12.7 percent above that offer amount through Tuesday.

And while Web search site Ask Jeeves closed Tuesday at $37 per share, or
43 percent below its first-day ending price, it still was trading 164 percent above
its $14 offer amount. That’s because it was the only legitimate moonshot
of the group, shooting up 364 percent on July 1, when it debuted on Nasdaq.

The other audio download company on the list, Audible, also has managed
to stay above its offer price through Tuesday, despite a 46 percent drop. Its
$11.38 close puts it 26 percent above the $9 offer price of its July 16 IPO.
(Audible rose 133 percent, to $21, on its opening day of trading.)

Only one other company, musicmaker.com (yet another audio download
provider), was still above its offer price, though just barely (7 percent). The
other six since Tuesday had fallen below their respective offer prices.

The two biggest disasters have been CyberMerchants Exchange, a
business-to-business Web site bringing together retailers and product
vendors, and Internet faxing service company JFAX.COM.

Having stumbled out of the starting gate by closing its first day of
trading at $7.75, or 3 percent below the $8 offer price, CMEE has yet to
recover. The stock fell as low as $2.50 by Aug. 4 and closed Tuesday at

JFAX.COM, meanwhile, closed in its first day of trading at its offerprice of $9, closing Tuesday at $5.38.

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