News > Companies flops on Wall St.
February 11, 2000: 2:43 p.m. ET

Investors wait on the sidelines, leaving online retailer out in the cold
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) -, the online retailer that spent millions on advertising itself to the general public in recent months, rolled over during its Wall Street debut Friday, barely budging from its initial public offering price of $11 per share.
    The San Francisco-based retailer, which raced to beat a host of other pet-related Internet stores to the open market, garnered a largely indifferent response from investors, rising a mere 1/16 to 11-1/16 by early Friday afternoon.
    Investors' response was considered particularly disappointing considering Wall Street's willingness to embrace nearly every technology issue that hit the market in recent months.
    But analysts had warned in recent weeks that's offering could be a flop, especially considering the company lost more than $60 million in nine months last year while sales grew from $39,000 to more than $5.2 million. (IPET: Research, Estimates) officials rushed the issue to market, hoping to put some distance between the company and other retailers preparing their own IPOs, including, the Internet arm of retailer PetSmart, which filed to raise $115 million on the open market last week.
    A official was not immediately available to comment, but analysts said investors are largely unimpressed with's balance sheet and are looking to see what other companies' offerings might bring.
    "It's a very crowded market, so it's difficult to distinguish yourself," said Gail Bronson, an IPO analyst with the IPO Monitor. "Maybe they didn't do enough to market themselves."
    But while may have undersold itself on Wall Street, it has spared no expense selling itself to the general public. The company has spent millions on advertising in recent months, including buying television time during the Super Bowl last month for commercials featuring a sock puppet of a dog that is being branded as the company's spokesman. Back to top


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