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IPO PREVIEW: Five new issues to break IPO drought

After two weeks without initial public offerings, next week's debuts are bound to feed investors' hunger. Garden.com, Opensite Technologies, PurchasePro.com, Luminant and NetSilicon are among the companies pining to tap the IPO-starved market next week.

Here's what's on deck:

  • Garden.com Inc. (Proposed ticker: GDEN) will offer 4.1 million shares to the public at a price range between $11 and $13. Hambrecht & Quist is the lead underwriter.

    The company mixes gardening content with commerce and community. Analysts said the IPO could get attention because it has first mover advantage in a narrow, targeted niche.

    The company sells more than 16,000 gardening products from 60 suppliers. Offerings range from a "Garden Doctor" answering service to gardening tools to plants and seeds.

    For the year ending June 30, the company reported sales of $5.4 million and a loss of $19 million. A year earlier, it reported revenue of $1.3 million, and a loss of $4.7 million. Nearly all of Garden.com's sales come via e-commerce, with only $442,000 in advertising revenue for the year.

  • Opensite Technologies Inc. (Proposed ticker: OPNS) is slated to debut 3.7 million shares priced between $10 - $12 each. The maker of software that creates online auction sites for merchants is one of three e-commerce related offerings.

    Forrester Research projects that the value of goods sold through Internet auctions will increase from $10.0 billion in 1998 to $64.9 billion in 2002, and Opensite hopes to capitalize on that market with its products that enable the installing, running and maintaining real-time auctions over the Internet, according to the company's filings.

    Opensite's customers include Cheapfares.com, CNET, Coinbuyers.com, The Sharper Image, Sporting Auction, VerticalNet and Winebid.com. The company had a net loss of $4.1 million on a revenue of $2.6 million for the six months ended June 30th, 1999.

    Lead underwriter for the deal is Hambrecht & Quist, co-manager are Robinson-Humphrey and Soundview Technology Group.

  • PurchasePro.com (Proposed ticker: PPRO) will offer 4.0 million shares priced at $11 - $13 each. Lead underwriter is Prudential Securities, and Jefferies & Co. is a co-manager.

    The company, which runs business-to-business e-commerce sites, targets small and medium sized businesses. The company said they also will pursue relationships with large organizations, to get access to their smaller partners. Best Western International, Building One Services, Marriott International and Prime Hospitality use PurchasePro.com's services.

    Revenue for the six months ended June 30 1999 was $1.7 million, compared to revenue of $529,865 for the same period in 1998. Net loss was $16.4 million for the six months in 1999, compared to $3.5 million in the 1998 period. About 72 percent of revenue came from member subscription fees, according to the company's filings.

  • Luminant Worldwide (Proposed ticker: LUMT) made its offering more exclusive Tuesday. It plans to offer only 5 million shares priced at $15-$17 each, after an original 12.6 million shares to be priced between $11 and $13.00 each.

    Luminant does Internet and e-commerce consulting for Fortune 500 firms. The company reported net loss of $51.2 million on revenue of $41.4 million for the six months ended June 30, 1999.

    Luminant now plans to raise only $67 million in net proceeds from the IPO, down from an originally projected $96.1 million, it said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

    Lead underwriter for the offering is Deutsche Banc Alex Brown, and co-managers are Hambrecht & Quist and Soundview Technology Group

  • NetSilicon Inc. (Proposed ticker: NSIL), which was slated to debut in mid-August along with Luminant, will finally debut. After a long delay, many have been wondering what's wrong with the designer of single chip embedded networking systems.

    The deal will put 5.0 million shares on the market priced at $8- $10 each. Lead underwriter is CIBC World Markets, with USB Piper Jaffray acting as a co-manager.

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