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Net firms play wallflowers in the market

Ftd.com is postpones its public offering, part of a growing number e-commerce and Internet companies delaying their IPOs because of market conditions.

    Ftd.com postponed its public offering today, part of a growing number e-commerce and Internet companies delaying their IPOs because of market conditions.

    Reported by Edgar Online, Ftd.com's move follows earlier postponements by Garden.com and Women.com. Gourmet food site Greatfood.com also canceled its IPO today, and Bloomberg reported that 12 out of 37 IPOs planned for this week have been postponed.

    The delays come as the market for Internet stocks has slumped in recent months. Such e-commerce stalwarts as Amazon.com and eBay are down to 41 percent and 39 percent, respectively, of their April highs. Even industry titans such as AOL and Yahoo are down to 53 percent of the highs they set in April.

    According to Edgar Online, Ftd.com was expected to launch its IPO last week, then subsequently rescheduled for this week. The IPO now has been postponed again.

    The postponement comes in the wake of 1-800-Flowers.com's IPO disaster. After setting its public offering price at $21 a share on August 2, 1-800-Flowers.com's stock quickly slipped, closing below its set price on its first day of trading.

    1-800-Flowers.com closed today at 14.31, unchanged for the day.

    Financial analyst Lauren Cooks Levitan of BancBoston Robertson Stephens said the IPO postponements may be because of a number of causes. In addition to the depressed market for Internet stocks, this time of year tends to be slow as investors take their vacations, she said.

    Because many well-funded Internet companies aren't desperate for cash in the near term, they can afford to wait and see if the public markets recover, Levitan added. "Over the next couple of weeks, I don't see a lot of deals getting done," she said.

    Bloomberg contributed to this report.