Liquid Audio Gushes On IPO

Liquid Audio (NASDAQ:LQID) goes public today, prices at $15, soars to $48 and closes at $36.56 per share. The e-music delivery software firm has taken the copyright protection approach in its service, making it more attractive to record labels than rival freebie, slated to go public later this month.

ISDEX, Dow and NASDAQ all gain with a mix of Internet stocks moving up and down. Overall, ISDEX gains 0.59 points to 569.72.

  • Webvan, a startup, announces a $1 billion plan to warehouse and deliver goods, mainly groceries, using the Internet as a conduit for order flow. Backed by Softbank, CBS and Knight-Ridder, says it’s raised $120 million to start. I think it’s an ambitious plan with a lot of bricks and mortar involved, not to mention a lot of vans. Competes in some ways with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) which just built some distribution centers. Challenges include branding, consumer trust, logistics and warehousing rivals.
  • 24/7 (NASDAQ:TFSM) jumps 11% to $45 7/8 on rumors that rival DoubleClick (NASDAQ:DCLK) may be interested in acquiring. Does a deal make sense? DoubleClick could use the consolidation to expand its market and perhaps save on a marketing war with 24/7. DoubleClick in my view could perhaps become the Yahoo of ads/marketing services (albeit not at a $30b valuation but as a clear market leader).
  • gets a lot of interest in the media as its IPO is slated for next week, plans to sell 4.2 million shares through Lehman at $15 target. AOL (NYSE:AOL) and 24/7 own stakes in the firm, which provides portal services in Chinese languages and regions.

    I think the market in China especially is still early, that despite a huge population only a fraction have Internet connections. posted $3.45 million revenue and $11 million loss in 1998.

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