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Markets & Stocks
Light plate ahead for IPOs
March 7, 1999: 9:20 p.m. ET

Edgy market scares off half this week's debutantes, leaving RoweCom, others
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Last week's fitful market conditions scared more than half of the 10 Wall Street hopefuls out of this week's offering pipeline, but the remaining companies should help tide the IPO market over.
     Six companies originally slated to debut this week -- including women's Web site iVillage, golf instructors Proformance Research and roofing supplier Eagle Supply -- have put off their offerings until next week, later in the month or indefinitely.
     A likely culprit could be Wall Street itself. Although the stock market ended on a record note Friday, getting there through a seemingly impenetrable cloud of interest-rate gloom wasn't always fun.
     The Russell 2000 small-cap index, a major indicator of the IPO market, enjoyed some highs, but the lows were harrowingly abrupt as well. On Friday, the index ended on an encouraging note, up nearly 4 points, a full percent, at 398.01.
Russell 2000 performance

In fact, the choppy market scared off a number of IPOs last week as well, including sporting and automotive retailer G.I. Joe's. Joe's will return for a second round, bolstering the four other offerings left on the calendar for the week.
     As its name implies, Joe's has been described as "a pure cut-throat retail company," an edge it will need in the ultra-competitive sporting market. The company plans to price 2.5 million shares between $8 and $10.
    
Those seductive Net plays

     The retreat of iVillage and others leaves online subscription service RoweCom as the week's only offering named after a Web site.
     RoweCom markets more than 43,000 periodicals to online customers, acting in partnership with Net bookseller barnesandnoble.com, a division of Barnes & Noble (BKS).
     Analysts say this relationship will be crucial to the company's prospects in the increasingly crowded Net marketplace, particularly if other online booksellers try to get into the magazine game.
     Underwriter J.P. Morgan will unleash 3.1 million RoweCom shares ("ROWE") some time this week, at an offering price expected to be between $12 and $14.
    
Plastics ... and finance

     Chiming in from more traditional IPO winners' corners, a plastic company and a regional bank also are slated to go public this week.
     International Smart Sourcing has been manufacturing injection-molded plastic products for 28 years, and now hopes to use its offering proceeds to start consolidating the fragmented industry.
     In addition, the company plans to leverage its large tool catalog to expand its range of products, which now includes such items as push-pulls and innovative CD packaging.
     Likewise, bank holding company Community Capital Bancshares may appeal to investors looking for strong fundamentals, in this case the eternal business of handling money. The company plans to use its offering proceeds to fund a new community bank based in Albany, Ga.
     Both companies plan to price some time this week. International Smart Sourcing will offer 1.25 million shares under the ticker "ISMT" at $4.50, while Community Capital will price a million "ALBY" shares at $10.
    
Goldman ahoy?

     The other IPO set for this week is postgraduate education firm Argosy Education Group's Thursday offering. The company turned a profit of $1.5 million last year, its sixth profitable year in a row, on $29 million in tuition.
     However, Argosy has not yet set either the size or the preliminary pricing range for its shares, which will trade under the ticker symbol "ARGY."
     That aside, IPO watchers will face an even bigger question earlier in the week. Partners in the giant investment bank Goldman Sachs will vote Monday on whether or not to put itself back on the offering block after canceling the IPO process five months ago.
     If the Goldman partners vote to go public, the company could venture onto the buy side of Wall Street as early as May or June.Back to top
     -- by staff writer Robert Scott Martin

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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.