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Juno Online Services falls on trading debut

Internet service provider Juno Online Services falls below its initial public offering price on its first day of trading.

Internet service provider Juno Online Services fell below its initial public offering price on its first day of trading.

Juno dropped 1.38 to 11.63 on its debut in trading of 7.8 million shares. The New York-based company began trading on the Nasdaq stock market under the ticker symbol "JWEB" this morning.

Juno, largely known for its free email service, said in a statement that it has granted underwriters Salomon Smith Barney, Bear Stearns, and PaineWebber an option to buy up to 975,000 shares of its common stock to cover over-allotments.

Juno said it plans to use net proceeds from the offering for the repayment of approximately $8.8 million of debt as well as for subscriber acquisition, advertising, brand marketing, further investment in the development of its services, and other general corporate purposes.

In addition, the company said it may use a portion of the proceeds for acquisitions, strategic alliances, or joint ventures.

Since the launch of the company's email service in April 1996, more than 6.8 million Juno accounts have been created, the company stated in last week's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Also in the filing, the company said that because it has offered basic email service for only three years and a paid subscription service for less than one year, its limited operating history makes it difficult to evaluate its business.

To date, the company has a history of losses and said it expects to incur further losses in the near future. For the fiscal year 1998, the company said it posted a net loss of $31.6 million and a $6.8 million loss for the three months ended March 31, 1999.

Juno said risk factors include attracting and retaining subscribers to its Web and email services, generating advertising revenues and product sales, and implementing an effective marketing strategy to promote its online services.