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Switchboard jumps in market debut

Switchboard Inc. (Nasdaq: SWBD), whose services include a yellow pages on the Web, opened at 32 Thursday after pricing shares at $15.

Switchboard, which raised its range to $12 to $14, had originally planned to sell 5.5 million shares of common stock in a projected price range of $10-$12 a share in its initial public offering.

The Internet-based network connecting consumers, merchants and national advertisers, said it will have about 23.7 million shares of common stock outstanding after the offering.

The company's flagship Web site, CBS Switchboard.com, enables people to search for individuals or businesses nationwide and get the phone numbers and addresses. Switchboard Inc. is a majority held subsidiary of Banyan Worldwide (Nasdaq: BNYN). CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS) also holds a minority stake in Switchboard.

For the year ended December 31, the company had a net loss of $8.8 million on revenue of $8.3 million compared to a loss of $5.4 million on revenue of $6.5 million in 1998.

The company competes with traditional and online white and yellow pages, companies providing Web-enabled solutions for small businesses, and those targeting the consumer Internet services market.

The deal is underwritten by Robertson Stephens and J.P. Morgan & Co.

Reuters contributed to this report.