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News > Deals
IPOs, a treasure hunt ahead
April 9, 2000: 9:15 a.m. ET

Lacking any big names this week, IPO investors will have to hunt for gems
By Staff Writer Tom Johnson
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - The cold wind that blew across Wall Street last week, freezing several prospective offerings out of the IPO market, appeared to dissipate by Friday, raising analysts' optimism about the week ahead.
    But with no well-known brand names to take charge of a possible rally -- as Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. (KREM: Research, Estimates) and MetLife Inc. (MET: Research, Estimates) did last week -- investors will be left to hunt for possible gems among a plethora of new deals.
    "There are no frame breakers out there," said Irv DeGraw, research director with WorldFinanceNet.com "It's going to be a fairly boring week."
    "There's been a substantial decline in the perception of the IPO investor that everything is going to work out okay," agreed David Menlow, president of IPOFinancial.com. "The ones that are suspect are going to be ignored from here on out."
    All told, eight of the 24 initial public offerings slated to price last week delayed their offerings, leery of the instability that rocked technology and even some blue chip shares for a short period last week.
    Particularly hesitant were several biotechnology companies that were scared off by a month-long slump among stocks in that sector.
    That leaves 25 offerings, which are expected to raise nearly $2.4 billion, on the table for this week.
    
Crown Media a crown jewel?

    Perhaps the week's best-known offering is Crown Media Holdings Inc., "CRWN," the family-oriented television production company that boasts more than 50 million subscribers worldwide.
    The Englewood, Colo.-based company, which produces programming for the Hallmark Entertainment Network and the Odyssey Network, expects to raise $250 million dollars by selling 12.5 million shares at between 19 and 21 per share.
    Media stocks have generally been lackluster recently and particularly vulnerable to the market's gyrations, but in addition to the Hallmark programming, Crown Media licenses a substantial amount of programming produced by The Jim Henson Co. Inc.
    graphicDeGraw noted cable television offerings generally have not fared well on their opening day in recent months, but said Crown Media's size and stature could set it apart.
    Another large offering comes from Anaheim, Calif.-based DDI Corp., which provides time-critical electronic design and manufacturing services, primarily for the communications and network equipment industries.
    The company boasts more than 1,400 customers, including the likes of Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO: Research, Estimates), IBM Corp. (IBM: Research, Estimates) and Intel (INTL: Research, Estimates), and hiked the number of shares it made available by nearly 20 percent last month to meet the growing demand.
    The company expects to raise roughly $235 million by offering nearly 14.7 million shares at $15 to $17 each. DDI will trade under the ticker "DDIC."
    
A 'Nuance' no more

    Among technology firms, Nuance Communications is highly regarded by some analysts. The company develops and supports voice interface software platforms that perform speech recognition and voice authentication functions.
    "They are in the right sector and it's a relatively small deal, so it should do okay," DeGraw said.
    Nuance expects to raise $67.5 million by offering 4.5 million shares at a range between $14 and $16 per share. The company will trade under the ticker "NUAN."
    The week will also bring a couple of intriguing foreign deals, both underwritten by Goldman Sachs, including AsiaContent.com, which provides a platform for co-branding e-commerce, media publishing and online advertising.
    The Hong Kong-based company hopes to raise $87 million by offering 5.8 million shares at between $14 and $16 per share. AsiaContent, "IASIA," already boasts media partnerships with companies such as NBCi (NBCI: Research, Estimates), Doubleclick (DCLK: Research, Estimates) and CNET Networks (CNET: Research, Estimates).
    Abingdon, England-based Bookham Technologies makes optical components used in fiber-optic telecommunications networks, a very popular sector among IPO investors recently.
    Bookham hopes to price 19.26 million American Depositary Receipts at between $12.56 and $15.70 per share, raising nearly $274 million. The company's ticker will be "BKHM."
    Among the carryovers from last week are: drug developer Adolor Corp., "ADLR"; biotech researcher DrugAbuse Sciences, "DASI"; bioengineering researcher Exelixis, "EXEL"; and drug researcher Rigel Pharmaceuticals, "RIGL." Back to top

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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.