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Tech Industry

Register.com prices IPO at $24

Register.com Inc. (Nasdaq: RCOM), a registrar of Internet domain names, priced its shares at $24 for trading Friday. The company had planned to sell 5 million shares of common stock with an increased price range of $19-$21 in its initial public offering.

"Domain names are a promising area," said David Menlow of IPOfinancial.com. "But this deal may not give people a bang for their buck," he cautioned. Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) has a stake in the company, as well as a joint marketing agreement.

Although the company's revenue has grown dramatically, so has its net loss. Register.com lost $8.7 million on revenue of $9.6 million for 1999, compared to a net loss of $1.2 million on revenue of $1.3 million in 1998.

After the offering there will be about 30.7 million shares outstanding in the company.

The company, which competes with Network Solutions (Nasdaq: NSOL), entered the domain name registration industry in 1998, but only since June 1999 has Register.com competed directly with Network Solutions for registrations in the .com, .net and .org domains.

Register.com has a lot of catching up to do. In Network Solutions' most recent quarter, the company reported a profit of $9 million, or 25 cents a share, on sales of $75.9 million. Networks Solutions has leveraged its initial government-mandated monopoly into other businesses. The company has $850 million in cash.