MarketWatch sets sights on IPO

The financial news site plans to roll out its initial public stock offering next week, in hopes of capitalizing on a red-hot market for Net stocks.

Financial news site MarketWatch.com plans to roll out its initial public stock offering next week.

San Francisco-based MarketWatch.com, which is owned by CBS and Data Broadcasting Corporation (DBC), plans to sell 2.8 million shares at between 10 and 12 per share on Thursday of next week, raising $30.8 million if the shares sell at 11.

Shares of DBC, which sells financial market data via satellite, rose about 49 percent this year on expectations that MarketWatch.com's shares will surge, like many recent Internet IPOs.

GenesisIntermedia.com, a Studio City, California-based company selling various products via television, newspapers, and the Internet, also may come to market late next week, floating out 2 million shares at between 7 and 10 per share.

With Internet stocks soaring and the Russell 2000 index of small stocks up 39 percent during the past three months, conditions favor initial public sales, said David Menlow, president of Millburn, New Jersey-based IPO Financial Network.

"The IPO markets generally do not kick into some semblance of first gear until late February, and now we are seeing that process accelerated to what appears to be the middle of January," he said, adding that investors' perception that small stocks are undervalued will help IPOs, which generally are small stocks.

The week after next may see at least two high-profile deals, Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Allaire, which makes software to build corporate Web sites, and Santa Clara, California-based Nvidia, which makes personal computer processors for three-dimensional graphics software.

MarketWatch.com
MarketWatch.com has more than 40 journalists providing business news, and its Web site attracted more than 2 million visitors in October, according to the company's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company was formed in October 1997 and lost $3.6 million in the quarter ended September 30, 1998, on revenues of $1.8 million. At least $5 million of proceeds from the stock sale will be used for marketing, the company said.

MarketWatch.com is licensed to use the CBS name and the network's news, and it also benefits from a marketing agreement with CBS that advertises the company. CBS and Data Broadcasting will each own 38 percent of MarketWatch.com after the sale.

Data Broadcasting was the most active stock in U.S. markets today. rising 6.5 to close the day at 26.375, with 25.7 million shares changing hands--14 times the company's three-month daily average.

Copyright 1998, Bloomberg L.P. All Rights Reserved.

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