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Media Metrix to go public

The Internet's leading market researcher files for a $48.3 million offering amid a boom in demand for shares of many Internet-related companies.

Media Metrix, a market researcher that measures the audience for Internet sites, filed for a $48.3 million initial stock offering amid a boom in demand for shares of many Internet-related companies.

New York-based Media Metrix didn't disclose the number of shares it hopes to sell or the price it expects to get in its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission; the company will disclose those details in a future SEC filing. The $48.3 million top value for the IPO was estimated to calculate an SEC registration fee.

Media Metrix's data is used by Internet advertisers, online advertising agencies, and companies that operate heavily trafficked Web sites such as America Online and E*Trade. The company said in its filing it has the largest panel of Internet users under continuous measurement in the world, and has the only panel that reports Internet use both at home and at work.

Media Metrix will use some proceeds from the stock sale to redeem shares held by the NPD Group, a market research firm that is its largest shareholder. Media Metrix also said it will use some money for international expansion, for new product development, and for other general corporate purposes.

Like most of the Internet companies it assesses, Media Metrix isn't profitable. The company recorded a net loss of $7.5 million in the year that ended December 31, 1998, on revenue of $6.3 million. Media Metrix had a net loss of $4.9 million in 1997 on revenue of $3.2 million.

In November 1998, the company merged with RelevantKnowledge, its leading competitor. If that merger had occurred on January 1, 1998, the combined companies would have had net losses of $16.2 million in 1998 on revenue of $8.1 million.

Tod Johnson leads Media Metrix as chief executive.

Other Web-based companies, such as online map provider MapQuest.com, have cited Media Metrix's Internet rankings in their own IPO filings as they vie to join the ranks of successful Internet offerings. The Inter@active Week Internet Index has risen 13.7 percent so far this year, compared to a 2 percent gain in the Standard & Poor's 500.

Underwriters for the Media Metrix stock sale will include Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette and BancBoston Robertson Stephens. Media Metrix expects to trade on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol MMXI.

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