Active Power makes electrifying debut

Active Power (Nasdaq: ACPW) stormed up 35 3/4, or 210 percent, to 52 3/4 Tuesday in its initial public offering.

The 8 million-share offering priced at $17, above the revised range of $14 to $16 a share.

The company is one of many power-generation issues going public these days, and a promising play on the increasingly unstable Internet field, said Kenan Pollack, of Hoover Online's IPO Central. Capstone Turbine (Nasdaq: CPST) made a successful recent debut, and this week's line-up includes Hpower (Nasdaq: HPOW) which makes proton-exchange membrane fuel cells for power generation.

"The digital economy is running on electricity... new technologies to power energy is coming back onto investors' radar," Pollack said.

The company's uninterruptible power supply product is designed to replace conventional products that use lead-acid batteries by using a flywheel that stores kinetic energy. The "CleanSource UPS" is marketed to ISPs, as well as to telecommunications, industrial, and commercial customers.

Pollack added that recent blackouts and brownouts in the Northwest has increased interest in energy companies; "If a Sun (Nasdaq: SUNW) or an Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) goes down for even just a few minutes, it’s a huge loss for them."

The company has an impressive underwriter list considering it only had sales of $1.0 million in 1999, and a loss of $7.4 million; Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley are all underwriters for the deal.

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