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IPO Update: Kana Communications, E.piphany soar in debuts

Kana Communications and E.piphany took off in their initial public offerings Wednesday, surging 250 percent and 191 percent, respectively, in early trading.

Broadbase Software Inc. (Nasdaq: BBSW) shot up 13 3/8, or 96 percent, to 27 3/8 in its initial public offering.

On Tuesday, Kana (Nasdaq: KANA) raised its offering price range to $14 to $15 from $11 to $13. The stock surged up 37 9/16, or 250 percent, to 52 9/16 after soaring to a high of 58 1/2. E.piphany Inc. (Nasdaq: EPNY) raised its price range to $14 to $16 per share, from $9 to $11. It moved up 30 1/2, or 191 percent, to 46 1/2.

Kana is offering 3.3 million shares and E.piphany is offering 4.15 million shares. Broadbase Software (Nasdaq: BBSW) priced its 4 million shares at $14 each, above their estimated price range of $10-$12.

"This is the best calendar I've seen in many months," said David Menlow of the IPO Financial Network. Seventeen out of 25 deals are on his hot list. He names the much anticipated NetZero, slated for Friday, along with Calico Commerce, due next week, along with Kana and E.piphany, as the most likely to make a splash.

Here's a look at Wednesday's offerings:

  • Kana Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: KANA) develops electronic mail management software. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company sells software that helps businesses manage high volumes of e-mail and website-based communication.

    Kana's customers include Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F), Northwest Airlines Corp. (Nasdaq: NWAC), and Chase Manhattan Bank (NYSE: CMB). Net loss for the six months ended June 30 was $9.9 million on revenue of $2.8 million, according to the company's filings.

    Underwriters Goldman, Sachs & Co., Hambrecht & Quist, and Wit Capital Corp., have been allotted 495,000 additional shares in the event of heavy demand.

  • E.piphany (Nasdaq: EPNY) develops and makes software that companies use to market themselves and track customer buying habits via the Internet or traditional sales outlets. The lead underwriter is Credit Suisse First Boston. It's debut may mark a new frontier for e-commerce.

    The company generates revenue by licensing its software and providing consulting, implementation and maintenance services. Competitors include Brio Technology (Nasdaq: BRYO), Business Objects S.A. (Nasdaq: BOBJ), Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL), Siebel Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: SEBL) and PeopleSoft Inc. (Nasdaq: PSFT).

    The company said it could face compatibility problems with its competitors. If a competitor were to alter its product so it did not work in cooperation with E.piphany's, the change could harm E.piphany's business.

    For the six months ended June 30, E.piphany reported a net loss of about $9.3 million, compared to a net loss of about $3.9 million for the year ago period.

  • Broadbase Software Inc. (Nasdaq: BBSW) priced its 4 million shares at $14 each, above their estimated price range of $10-$12.

    Broadbase is a provider of software used to enhance customer targeting and acquisition efforts, and its clients include ADP and Kodak.

    Lead underwriter for the deal is Deutsche Banc Alex Brown, and co-managers include Dain Rauscher and Thomas Weisel.

    For the six months ended June 30, the company reported a net loss of $10.9 million on revenue of $3.5 million, as compared to a loss of $5.1 million on revenue of $1.4 million in the same period of 1998. As of June 30, 1999, the company had accumulated net losses of about $29.0 million, 415% of its cumulative revenue to that date.

    -- Reuters contributed to this report.