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MetaSolv scampers up 98 percent in first trading day

MetaSolv Software Inc. (Nasdaq: MSLV) moved up 18 9/16, or 98 percent, to 37 9/16 Thursday after pricing its offering of 5 million shares at $19 each.

MetaSolv originally priced the offering at $15 to $17 a share. The stock moved as high as 41 in early trading.

MetaSolv, which makes order management and service provisioning software for telecommunications companies, had originally estimated its price range to be between $12 and $14 a share.

The IPO was underwritten by Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and co-managed by BancBoston Robertson Stephens and Jefferies & Co.

"They should do well, the telecom area is growing quickly," said Tom Taulli, and analyst with Internet.com. The flexibility of the software, which allows different customers to use it, should make MetaSolv's products popular for many different types of customers looking to outsource, he said.

MetaSolv's big customers, such as Qwest Communications (Nasdaq: QWST), BellSouth Corp. (NYSE: BLS), GTE (NYSE: GTE), and strategic partners, such as Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) and Ernst & Young, also make it a good bet, Taulli said.

MetaSolve in a hot area, said Steven Tuen, director of research at IPO Value Monitor. They provide a software, as compared to Copper Mountain, which provides a hardware. So there is some measure of proprietary content "which will help MetaSolv do well," Tuen said. Copper Mountain (Nasdaq: CMTN) was one of the summer's most successful IPOs.

The company's revenue for the 9 months ended September 30, was $27.2 million, showing a good uptick from the $13.2 million for the same period in 1998. The company also turned a loss of $1.7 million in the 1998 period into a profit of $1.2 million for the first 9 months of 1999.

For the last 9 months, Qwest Communications, Time Warner Communications and Allegiance Telecom have accounted for 14 percent, 7 percent, and 6 percent of MetaSolv's total revenue, respectively.

MetaSolv's competitors include other providers of software that supports the operations of telecommunications service providers, such as Telcordia Technologies (formerly Bellcore), Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU) Architel Systems (Nasdaq: ASYC), and outsourcing firms, such as Computer Sciences (NYSE: CSC), Electronic Data Systems (NYSE: EDS) and Perot Systems (NYSE: PER).

  • HNC spin-off Retek (Nasdaq: RETK) will also debut at $15 a share Thursday. The provider of supply chain management software for retailers, priced its 5.5 million shares above their raised range of $12 to $14. Retek recently launched an online business -to-business network for retailers. CS First Boston is the offering's lead underwriter, Robertson Stephens and USB Piper Jaffray are acting as co-managers.

  • Symyx Technologies (Nasdaq: SMMX), which providers proprietary software for the discovery of new chemical materials, priced 5.538 million shares at $14 each. The company upped the number of shares on offer from the expected 4.615 million. CS First Boston and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette are underwriters for the offering.