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Interactive Pictures recovers for first day gain

Interactive Pictures Corporation (Nasdaq: IPIX) closed a point higher Thursday, after 4.2 million shares debuted at $18 each.

The company, which provides "immersive imaging" for the Internet, had an original price range $12 to $14. Underwriters for the initial public offering are J.P. Morgan, Hambrecht & Quist, Morgan Keegan & Co. and Stephens Inc. Interactive Pictures' immersive imaging is a patented technology that allows the creation and viewing of images in a 360 x 360 spherical environment. The company is based in Oak Ridge, Tennessee

Shares initially drifted lower, but the stock rose in the afternoon as the entire Internet sector recovered.

For the three months ended March 31, 1999, the company had a net loss of 3.7 million, or 90 cents a share, on revenue of 1.2 million. This compares to a loss of 2.7 million, or 37 cents a share in 1998's comparable quarter. As of March 31, 1999, the company has tabulated an accumulated deficit of $27.7 million

Net proceeds from the offering will be used for general corporate purposes, including expansion of sales and marketing activities, possible strategic acquisitions or investments and working capital, the company said.

Besides the slim chances of attaining profitability, the company lists challenges to its patents as a risk in its regulatory filings. It also said a high concentration of its sales come from Sumitomo Corporation, the company's Japanese distributor, which accounted for 13% of total revenue for 1998. The company names Apple Computer, Inc.,, Inc., Be Here Corporation, Black Diamond, Inc., Cyclovision, Inc., Infinite Pictures Corporation and Live Picture Corporation as its competitors.