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Support.com soars in debut

    Support.com (Nasdaq: SPRT), a provider of web-based software that offers self-service IT support, gained 23 to 37, or 164 percent in debut Wednesday. It had priced its offering of 4.25 million shares at $14 each.

    The price range for Support.com's IPO rose to $11-$13 a share from $8-$10. The deal is being managed by Credit Suisse First Boston, Chase Hambrecht & Quist, Bear Stearns and Wit Soundview,.

    As companies become more comfortable with the idea of outsourcing IT and hosting over the web, this category is picking up credibility, said Kenan Pollack. The enormous gains that Storage Networks (Nasdaq: STOR) has made since its IPO, bode well for Support.com. A similar company, Motive Communications is also preparing to go public.

    For the three months ended March 31, the company had revenue of $ 1.9 million on a loss of $9.2 million, as compared to revenue of $334 000 on a net loss of $1.2 million in 1998.

    The company's revenue is concentrated in a limited number of sources. For the first quarter of 2000, Schlumberger accounted for 35 percent of total revenue and General Electric accounted for 20 percent.

    Support.com said that though it sees no dominant competitor in the market for all aspects of its eSupport solution, its competitors include Serena Software (Nasdaq: SRNA) in the market for automated development of support solutions and with Motive Communications in the market for automated delivery of support solutions.

    Other competitors include Kana Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: KANA) and eGain Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: EGAN).
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