Apropos flies out of gate

2 min read

Apropos Technology (Nasdaq: APRS) shot up 32, or 145 percent, to 54 Thursday in its initial public offering.

The developer of software for contact centers to manage customer voice, e-mail and Web-based interactions, priced its 3.7 million shares at $22 a piece, well above its upwardly revised range of $17 to $19.

The company's original filing range was for a 3.2 million share offering at $13-15.

"This is one of three good deals this week," said David Menlow of IPOfinancial.com, who had also predicted Chordiant Software (Nasdaq: CHRD) and Diversa (Nasdaq: DVSA) would have strong debuts. Underwriter Chase Hambrecht & Quist has had a good track record as of late, and the company is an interesting deal, with its ability to route and prioritize customer responses, he added.

The company also has a geometric revenue growth graph, Menlow said. Since 1996, revenue has increased about 100 percent every year. It has also continued to rack up losses; for the year ended December 31, Apropos lost $8.5 million on revenue of $18.2 million, compared to a loss of $4.8 million on revenue of $9.1 million in 1998.

Stand-alone competitors include eGain Communications (Nasdaq: EGAN), Kana Communications, (Nasdaq: KANA) and Webline Communications, which has been acquired by Cisco Systems. eGain, now at 44, and Kana, at 267, both had highly sucsessful IPOs this past fall.

Apropos also competes with platform providers such as Aspect Telecommunications Corp (Nasdaq: ASPT), Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO), Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU), Nortel Networks (NYSE: NT) and Rockwell International Corp (NYSE: ROK), the company said.