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Investors bullish on TheStreet.com IPO

Shares of TheStreet.com (Nasdaq: TSCM) soared up 46 1/8, or 243 percent, to 65 1/8 in its initial public offering Tuesday. It opened at $61 a share after pricing at $19 late Monday.

Shortly after it opened, the stock surged as high as 65 15/16.

The New York-based financial news and information Web site initially filed to sell 5.5 million shares between a range of $11 a share and $13 a share, representing a 22 percent stake in the company.

TheStreet.com, a subscription-based financial news service, lost $16.4 million last year on sales of $4.6 million. In 1997, TheStreet lost $5.8 million on revenue of $589,000.

At the end of March, subscriptions rose to 51,000 from 32,000 in the year-earlier period.

Competition for online financial news and information is tight and looks only to get tighter. Marketwatch.com Inc. (Nasdaq: MKTW), which went public in January, lines up against theStreet.com and others, such as OneSource Information Services Inc., have filed to go public.

The market for online business news is expected to reach $39.8 billion by 2002 from $24.8 billion in 1997, according to figures cited in OneSource's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The New York Times invested $15 million, buying a minority stake in the company.

Goldman Sachs is leading the offering, assisted by Hambrecht & Quist and Thomas Weisel Partners LLC.

In related news, Xoom.com Inc. (Nasdaq: XMCM), NBC (NYSE: GE) and CNet Inc. (Nasdaq: CNET) glommed together properties to form a new company: NBCi.

ZD Inter@ctive Investor competes with Marketwatch.com and TheStreet.com. ZDII is the financial channel of ZDNet (NYSE: ZDZ), the online unit of Ziff-Davis Inc. (NYSE: ZD)>