Shares of Ariba Inc. (Nasdaq: ARBA) closed up 67, or 291 percent, to 90 in its initial public offering Wednesday. The maker of software for business buying opened at 61 and moved as high as 90 5/16.
Ariba had said it would price at $20 to $22 a share, a range that itself had been increased earlier this week from the original target of $16 to $18 a share.
Ariba has been cited by analysts as one of the "no brainer" IPOs of the week, because software/Internet infrastructure companies tend to do well.
Ariba makes "Internet-based business-to-business electronic commerce solutions for operating resources." In a nutshell, the software lets companies track operating expenses and other resources.
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter is the lead underwriter.
For the six months ending March 31, the company reported sales of $16.3 million and a loss of $8.1 million. Of that sum, $10.5 million was derived from licensing and $5.8 million was sales of services.
In its regulatory filings, the company mentions a host of competitors including Captura Software, Clarus, Commerce One, Concur Technologies, Extensity, GE Information Services, Intelysis, Netscape Communications and TRADE'ex Electronic Commerce Systems.
The company also expects to compete against Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL), Peoplesoft (Nasdaq: PSFT) and SAP (NYSE: SAP).
Its shares opened at 26 and moved to a peak of 27 1/4 in very heavy trading.
The brokerage firm had more than 2.6 million customer accounts and more than $100 billion in customer assets at the end of March.