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Omniture Offering Is Worth Data-Mining

Omniture (OMTR), a small-cap company that makes software for gathering data about traffic to Web sites, will make its market debut this morning after pricing its initial public offering Tuesday night at $6.50 per share, raising net proceeds of $50.1 million. The underwriters -- Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan and CS First Boston -- expected the 10.7 million-share offering to price between $7.50 and $9 a share.

Although the stock warranted speculation in that range, this discount makes for a somewhat attractive entry point for risk-takers.

Omniture is a pure play on the growing need and demand for Web traffic intelligence and analysis. As a result of increased affordable Web access, companies are more dependent on the Web for retail sales and marketing campaigns, and knowing where and how to stimulate consumer interest will be as a key competitive differentiator.

Omniture's main revenue-generating service is SiteCatalyst, which helps businesses manage and enhance online, offline and multichannel marketing and sales initiatives. Much like better known services Coremetrics and aQuantive (AQNT), Omniture customers use SiteCatalyst to gather and analyze Web traffic patterns and form sales and marketing initiatives to optimize their sites and match consumer trends.

The key growth driver for Omniture and its competitors, including Coremetrics, aQuantive and Websidestory (WSSI), is the overall growth in Internet usage and increased corporate spending. Omniture, for one, captured data on more than 280 billion pageviews in the first quarter of 2006 from its 1,000-plus customers. Cheaper access to high-speed Internet services should continue to drive growth, leading to meaningful jumps in the amount of time consumers spend online. In turn, this increases the importance of data-gathering and analysis for companies that generate revenue from Web-based operations.

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