Web site management firm Interliant Inc. (Nasdaq: INIT) closed up 5 6 13/16, or 68 percent, to 16 13/16 in its initial public offering Thursday. After pricing at $10 a share Wednesday, the stock moved as high as 18 1/2.
The 7 million-share offering priced right in the middle of its original $9 to $11 a share range. Merrill Lynch is the lead underwriter.
Interliant hosts Web sites, essentially storing the home pages, software applications and data for other companies on its own computer servers. It currently serves more than 47,000 customers. Interliant also offer consulting services.
According to market research firm the Yankee Group, Web hosting sales should grow to $14.4 billion in 2003 from $4.4 billion expected for the end of 1999.
Interliant reported first-quarter sales of $5.43 million, up from $13,000 for the same period a year ago. Its net loss meanwhile for the period widened to $7.8 million from $539,000 a year ago.
Some of its competitors include AboveNet Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ABOV), Exodus Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: EXDS), Frontier GlobalCenter (NYSE: FRO) and Globix Corp. (Nasdaq: GBIX).
Reuters contributed to this report.>