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Tech companies prepare IPOs; Charter delays again

PCQuote.com and NetRadio are expected to launch IPOs this week, while one of the nation's largest IPOs ever has been delayed again.

PCQuote.com and NetRadio are among the tech companies slated to hit the public markets this week, while one of the nation's largest IPOs ever has been delayed again.

Charter Communications' multibillion-dollar IPO launch has been pushed back to the first half of November. The company, owned by Paul Allen, had been expected to go public this week, following a delay in September.

David Menlow, president of IPO Financial Network, said he is not concerned with the delay in Charter's IPO, given the size of the deal.

The company plans to issue 170 million shares and currently has a pricing range of $17 to $19. Based on the high end of the range, Charter hopes to raise up to $3.2 billion and will trade under the ticker "CHTR." Goldman Sachs is the lead underwriter.

The company has been on an acquisition spree and will be the nation's fourth largest cable operator once its pending acquisitions are completed.

Charter generated revenues of $1.43 billion during the six-month period ended June 30 and posted a loss from operations of $238.7 million.

Allen, cofounder of Microsoft, will control 93 percent of the company's voting stock and hold the power to elect all of the company's directors.

In sizing up the list of IPOs, investors this week may not see the lofty price jumps on the first trade of the day for tech issues compared with last week, Menlow said.

"Last week we had 18 IPOs, of which 8 opened with their first trade of the day that was 12 points or higher than the IPO price," Menlow said. "I don't think we'll see those premiums this week based on what we have to chose from."

Ken Fleming, an analyst with Renaissance Capital's IPO Fund, also noted investors will encounter a slow IPO week.

"This is a slow week, in part because of the Columbus Day holiday, and we also have no blockbuster deals," Fleming said.

PCQuote, which faces a number of competitors, has apparently encountered a lackluster response from potential investors. The company has cut its initial pricing range twice since filing for its IPO last June and also has reduced the number of shares it will offer.

The company, which offers real-time quotes and a variety of financial services for investors, had initially set a pricing range of $12 to $14, with plans to float out 7.75 million shares. But in September it further reduced its offering to a price range of $8 to $10, with 5 million shares being offered.

Based on the latest filing, the company hopes to raise up to $50 million--less than half the capital it initially sought.

"It's a spin-off of a company that is already public," Fleming said in response to PCQuote's lack of investor interest.

Last week, PCQuote had planned to go public but was delayed. The company is expected to begin trading later this week under the ticker "PCQT."

PCQuote generated $6.9 million in revenues for the six-month period ended June 30, up from $4.4 million a year ago. Its net loss grew to $2 million in the period, compared with a loss of $1.6 million the previous year. Prudential Securities is the lead underwriter for the offering.

NetRadio, which broadcasts originally programmed entertainment over the Internet, is expected to begin trading as early as Thursday under the ticker "NETR."

The company plans to raise up to $52 million, based on its current filing range of $11 to $13 a share and an issue of 4 million shares.

During the six-month period ended June 30, NetRadio generated $406,000, compared with $113,000 a year ago. Its net loss widened to $5.2 million--up from $1.3 million the previous year. Gerard Klauer Mattison is the lead underwriter for NetRadio's IPO.

Other tech companies expected to go public this week include Goracing.com and QuickLogic.

Goracing provides online information and news about motor-sport racing. The company plans to raise up to $56.2 million, based on the 6.25 million shares it plans to offer and the high end of its $7 to $9 range. The company plans to trade under the ticker "GRCN."

QuickLogic--which develops, markets, and supports field programmable gate array semiconductors and software tools--plans to raise up to $66.7 million. The company plans to issue 6.7 million shares and currently has a range of $8 to $10. QuickLogic plans to trade under "QUIK."