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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Tech Industry

IPO Update: New &#039Net offerings get mixed reviews

A trio of Internet initial public offerings received a tepid reception from Wall Street Thursday. Cybergold and Yesmail.com made slight gains while Ashford.com ended the day where it began.

Ashford.com Inc. (Nasdaq: ASFD) closed unchanged after pricing its 6.25 million-share offering at $13 a share. The Internet retailer of luxury goods rose to a high of 19 1/2 in early trading before giving it all back.

The Houston, Texas-based seller of vintage watches, sunglasses and perfume hopes to raise about $68.5 million by cashing in on consumers who can't find the luxury goods they want in retail stores. Ashford.com, sells products including perfume, leather goods, scarves, and jewelry from more than 150 brands

The company posted about $3.2 million in net losses on $3.6 million in net sales during the second quarter of this year.

Ashford.com plans to use the proceeds of its IPO for marketing, investments in technologies and interest-bearing securities. It also plans to increase its inventory, and acquire facilities to make room for growth.

Goldman, Sachs & Co., BancBoston Robertson Stephens, Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown, and E*Offering -- the lead underwriters for the IPO -- have been allotted 937,500 extra shares to sell in case of heavy demand.

  • CyberGold (Nasdaq: CGLD), a provider of Internet-based direct marketing and advertising services that offers online rebates, closed up 3, or 33 percent, to 12 after offering 5 million shares at $9, the top of its expected price range of $7 to $9 a share.

    It peaked at 14 7/16 in early trading.

    The deal is being underwritten by SG Cowen, with CIBC World Markets and Volpe Brown Whelan acting as co-managers.

    Cybergold had a net loss for the six months ended June 30 of $3.9 million on revenue of $1.3 million, compared to a net loss of $2.4 million on revenue of $271 000 for the same period in 1998.

    Risks cited in the regulatory filings include the possible reluctance of consumers to use an incentives-based marketing program online. Of Cybergold's approximate 2.6 million members, its revenue comes from a very small minority. About 470,000 members have requested not to receive e-mail from Cybergold. The company said revenue comes mostly from commissions paid by advertisers and direct marketers based on specific actions taken by its members.

    Cybergold also faces competition from other companies offering competitive online incentives programs, including MyPoints.com, Inc. and Netcentives, Inc.

  • Yesmail.com (Nasdaq: YESM) closed up 2 1/16 to 13 1/16 after pricing its 3.4 million-share offering at $11 a share. The company delivers targeted email marketing will toss 3.4 million shares on the market priced at $11 each. The estimated price range had been $10 to $12 dollars a share.

    It surged as high as 19 5/8 in early trading.

    Yesmail had a net loss of $5.5 million on revenue of $3.6 million for the six months ended June 30, 1999, as compared to a net loss of $460 000 on revenue of $2.0 million for the same period in 1998.

    Lead underwriter for the offering is Deutsche Banc Alex Brown; Thomas Weisel and Volpe Brown Whelan are co-managers.

    Risks cited in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission include an accumulated deficit of $7.7 million as of June 30, and the uncertainty that customers will accept direct mail marketing. Some commentators, privacy advocates and governmental bodies have suggested limiting or eliminating the use of personal profiles, on which Yesmail.com's business depends.

    Reuters contributed to this report.