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RightNow joins IPO conga line

The subscription software company joins the likes of search engine leader Google, gay Web portal PlanetOut and online bookseller Alibris with plans for an initial public offering of its stock.

Subscription software company RightNow Technologies has started the ball rolling on an initial public offering of its stock, joining a number of Internet companies queuing up to sell shares to the public.

RightNow, based in Bozeman, Mont., expects to raise $60 million through its IPO, according to the registration document the company filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday.

The 7-year-old company sells customer service and support applications, charging businesses a monthly fee for access to its programs via the Web. The company, which has about 1,000 subscribers, claims that its customer self-service software helps companies reduce their contact center costs by decreasing the amount of phone calls and e-mails.

RightNow lost $4.1 million last year on revenue of $35.9 million and has accumulated a deficit of $44.4 million, according to its SEC filing. But it managed to eke out a profit in the quarter ended March 31: $162,000 on $12.9 million in revenue.

The company's business model is similar to that of Salesforce.com--a San Francisco company with plans to raise as much as $85 million with its Wall Street debut. Other Internet companies with IPOs on the horizon include search engine leader Google, gay Web portal PlanetOut, bookseller Alibris, jewelry shop Blue Nile and online advertising services firm Advertising.com.

RightNow plans to trade its shares on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the symbol RNOW. Morgan Stanley is the lead banker in the deal, with Thomas Weisel Partners; Adams, Harkness, & Hill; and D.A. Davidson also participating.