Google, WebSideStory, Claria Show Negative IPO Trend
The online advertising, search engine marketing, and web analytics markets may be booming, but for companies looking to go public, there has been a definite negative trend over the past month, with buyers not showing interest, or just waiting, during an otherwise down time in the US Economy. Internet data analysis company WebSideStory Inc. cut its expected initial public offering price to $8 to $9 a share from $10 to $12, it said in a regulatory filing Wednesday.
The size of the IPO remains 5 million shares, with the company planning to sell 4.4 million shares and existing shareholders planning to sell 600,000 shares, according to the filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. WebSideStory earned $326,000 on revenue of $10.3 million for the first six months of 2004, after losing $1.7 million on $7.7 million in the same period last year, the filing said.
Google’s IPO Blues
The WebSideStory IPO news has come right on the heels of the disappointing Gogole IPO bidding process which ended yesterday evening. Google will be lowering its estimated price range to between $85 and $95 per share, down from its earlier prediction of $108 and $135 per share which was recommended tho those who bid through auction closing last night.
According to the AP, Google also said the number of shares available to the public will be lowered as existing holders will now only sell 5.5 million shares, down from about 11.6 million. Google itself will sell 14.1 million shares as originally planned. The change makes a total of 19.6 million shares available, which is a decrease of about 6.1 million shares. The action should help increase the per-share price because the overall supply of shares has decreased.
Claria Says No To IPO on Heels of Yahoo Anti-Spyware Initiative
Contextual advertising and pop up company Claria Corp. has canceled plans for a $150 million initial public offering due to “current market conditions,” it said in a regulatory filing earlier in the month. Claria, which filed its original prospectus in April of this year, had not disclosed the number of shares it intended to sell or an expected price range.
Claria turned a 2003 profit of $34.9 million on revenue of $90.5 million, the April filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said. Ironically, the Claria IPO news comes the day of the Google IPO registration and the week of the announcement by Yahoo that their new toolbar will block Claria “ad ware” advertising – even though Claria is a partner of Yahoo’s Overture Ad Network.
The final anti-spyware Yahoo toolbar now treats Claria’s Gator adware the same as other annoying software. But why has Yahoo turned against Gator? Claria is one of Overture’s largest partners and delivers a large amount of revenue to Yahoo.
“We listened to the feedback we received from our users during the beta period, and have made a few minor modifications to Anti-Spy,” Yahoo spokesman Aaron Ferstman wrote in an e-mail to CNet.
“Yahoo subsidiary Overture Services has had an agreement with Claria since 2002 to provide keyword-related text ads to users of Claria’s GAIN (Gator Advertising and Information Network) technology. The way it works is that Overture’s ads appear on GAIN’s pop-up windows, called Search Scout, which are triggered when users type in search queries on sites including Google, Yahoo, Microsoft’s MSN and others.”