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Tech Industry

IPO busts:, flop

    Three initial public offerings were "broken" in their debuts Tuesday as investors resisted the temptation to jump on another round of new Internet stocks. (Nasdaq: FLWS) closed off 2 13/16 to 18 3/16 after pricing its offering at $21 a share late Monday. The stock momentarily shot up to a high of 22 1/4 before losing ground.

    The company had originally planned to sell 6 million shares at between $16 to $18 a share.

    Its lackluster performance must be a bitter disappointment for lead underwriter Goldman Sachs.

    Competitor Inc. (Proposed ticker: EFTC) is supposed to price Wednesday night for an IPO on Thursday. Its range is now between $13 to $15 a share.

    There were high hopes for the online flower broker.

    "I think will do exceptionally well," said Steve Lacey, an editor at IPO Reporter, prior to Tuesday's flop. "It's one of the stronger names."

    The Westbury, N.Y.-based company, which also sells plants, gift baskets, gourmet foods and garden accessories, raked in sales of more than $203 million for the nine months ended March 28, according to its filing with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission.

    Although industry watchers predict's stock will have a solid debut, they expect the Downers Grove, Ill.-based firm to lag behind its bigger competitor. Not good considering had a "broken" IPO.

    Among other IPOs Tuesday.

  • (Nasdaq: QUOT), the online provider of insurance quotes, also lost ground in its first trading day. The stock opened at $11 a share and moved up a buck before closing off 1 5/16 to 9 11/16. Hambrecht & Quist served as lead underwriter for the 5 million-share offering.

  • BigStar Entertainment Inc. (Nasdaq: BGST) also flopped, ending off 1 27/32 to 8 5/32 after pricing its IPO at $10 a share. However, the stock did manage to fight up 1/16 at its peak before losing ground.