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Drugstore.com files for early IPO

Barely three months after launching its Web site, Drugstore.com aims to go public.

Barely three months after launching its Web site, Drugstore.com is making a rush for the IPO gate.

Drugstore.com, financially backed by heavyweight Amazon.com, unveiled its plans to go public today, filing a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company, which sells health and beauty products as well as over-the-counter and prescription drugs, did not specify the number of shares it would sell, nor did it set a target price for the shares.

According to the filing, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter will manage the offering, in conjunction with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette and Thomas Weisel Partners.

Amazon.com, which owns about 46 percent of Drugstore.com, began promoting the new site on its front door last February. As part of the investment, Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos earned a seat on Drugstore.com's board.

Its rivals are PlanetRx and Soma.com.

According to the SEC filing, Drugstore lost $10.2 million on $652,000 in revenues for the quarter ended April 4. The company, founded in April 1998, lost $7.4 million last year.