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Virage shares climb following IPO

Shares of the Internet video indexing company nearly double in its trading debut amid a "tougher market" for Net companies.

    Shares of Internet video indexing company Virage nearly doubled in its trading debut today.

    The 6-year-old San Mateo-based company issued 3.5 million shares priced at $11, garnering it $38.5 million. By market close, its shares were up $5.88, or 53 percent, to $16.88 after climbing as high as $19.50.

    "The market is certainly a tougher market for Internet companies right now," chief executive Paul Lego said. He added that the company decided to go ahead with its initial public offering because of increased interest in the streaming media market.

    "We feel that the streaming media industry is now at an inflection point, and it's really begun to take off," Lego said. "So from a credibility standpoint as well as a cash and resource standpoint we felt we had to go public."

    Virage files digital video content, time-stamping spoken word and visual images in video clips, letting companies search and deliver specific segments within large video libraries. The company posted revenues of about $3.8 million in the nine months ending Dec. 31, 1999, and a net loss of about $12.1 million.

    Lego said Virage had signed 50 new customers in the last quarter.

    Credit Suisse First Boston is the lead underwriter for the sale. Virage is listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the ticker symbol "VRGE."

    CNET Networks, publisher of CNET News.com, is an investor in Virage.