IPO Update: Tickets.com jumps 60 percent

Larry Dignan
2 min read

Tickets.com (Nasdaq: TIXX) received 8 percent of its revenue from the Internet in the second quarter, but that didn't stop it from tapping into a little .com euphoria. Shares closed up 6 3/4 to 19 1/4 in its debut.

Shares also priced well above their original price range. Tickets.com had tagged its 6.7 million share offering at $12.50, well above the original price range of $7 to $9 a share. The company, which peddles tickets, upped its price range to $10 to $12 on Wednesday. Morgan Stanley is the lead underwriter with an assist from CS First Boston.

In regulatory filings, Tickets.com said during the first and second quarters of 1999, Internet-based revenue represented 4.2 percent and 8 percent of our total revenue. The company, which has a distribution deal with Excite@Home (Nasdaq: ATHM), began selling tickets online in 1997. But most of the company's sales still come via retail stores and telephone sales centers.

"Although historically our Internet-based revenues have not been significant, we believe substantial opportunities exist," said the company, which competes with Ticketmaster Corp., a unit of USA Networks (Nasdaq:USAI) and Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch (Nasdaq:TMCS).

"In order to generate substantial revenues from online ticket sales, we must significantly increase the number of clients who use our online ticketing services," said Tickets.com.

Ticketmaster, both online and offline, have dominated the market, leaving Tickets.com with smaller venues, said analysts.

Tickets.com is also in competition with Ticketmaster Online in the courtroom.

On July 23, the two Ticketmasters filed a lawsuit against Tickets.com to prohibit Tickets.com from linking to internal pages within Ticketmaster's web site and using the Ticketmaster name. The suit also alleges Tickets.com provided false and misleading information regarding the availability of tickets and related information and used copyrighted material from the Ticketmaster site.

A hearing for the motion to dismiss has been scheduled for January 2000, said Tickets.com.

If Ticketmaster and Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch win their case against Tickets.com, the company said its web site could be severely impacted.

For 1998, Tickets.com had pro forma revenue of $47.7 million and a loss of $57.4 million. For the six months ending June 30, revenue was $22 million with a loss of $24 million. In 1998, Tickets.com sold about 5.3 million tickets.