For IPOs, It’s Overseas Strength

This week we had a small light show in the lackluster IPO skies. Light, but
little heat, as the IPOs that came to market did not connect with the
skies-the-limit traders.

The best Nasdaq debut was on Wednesday’s when Rediff took the plunge.
Its $12 opening price closed up at 19 5/16. It nearly doubled by Friday as
it ended the day at 23-1/4.

Rediff is an Indian portal focusing on India and the global Indian
community. The company’s site features interest-specific channels, such as
weddings, contests and romance. They also offer services that include
online tickets, shopping, and hotel booking.

Internet usage is growing rapidly in India, although there is now only about
1 million Internet users. But there is growth potential, as International
Data Corporation expects 17 million users within the next three years.

The lead underwriter was Goldman Sachs.

Inutitive Surgical opened on the Nasdaq on Tuesday. Its opening price was $9 and
it ended the day at 9-1/32. On Friday, it was still drifting around looking
for investor stamp-of-approval. It was stuck at 9-1/8.

Intuitive Surgical takes the hands of surgeons and replaces them with tiny
electrotechnical arms and instruments. The surgeons now uses software,
hardware, and 3-D optics on the operating table. While accepted in Europe,
the company is awaiting FDA approval for use in the U.S.

Lehman Brothers was the lead underwriter.

August Technology Corporation (AUGT)
debuted on Wednesday with a $12
offering price, which was at the lower end of the projected price range. It
ended the day up at 15-3/16. On Friday, it was at 17-15/16.

The Bloomington, MN, August Technology, is a supplier of automated visual defect inspection equipment to the
semiconductor industry. Their inspection solutions cover such areas as
quartz and silicon carbide boat, wafer and die, and IC lead and package

The lead underwriter was Needham & Co.

IPO action on the American Stock Exchange happened on Tuesday when
Take To Action offered 1.3 million shares priced
at $8.00. It ended its debut at 8-1/2. By Friday, it had fallen back to its
offering price.

Take to Auction provides full service for online auctions. They offer their
customers an online catalog where you select an item for auction. The
company lists it at online auction sites such as eBay and FairMarket, then
follows up with highest bid processing and shipment. A neat, tidy package.

The lead underwriter was Noble International Investments.

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