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IPO Calendar Getting Crowded

Chicken wings, appliances, software, an airline and another biotech company all will debut in the suddenly humming IPO market this week.

Regional carrier Pinnacle Airlines (PNCL:Nasdaq), a spinoff of Northwest Airlines (NWAC), is scheduled to sell 19.4 million shares at between $15 to $17.

The Memphis, Tenn.-based operator is expected to price on Thursday through underwriters led by Bear Stearns and Banc of America Securities.

In a calendar dominated by bricks-and-mortar companies, also watch for Nexstar Broadcasting (WLL:NYSE), a group of TV stations run out of Irving, Texas, which is selling 10 million shares within a $14 to $16 range.

Also in that range is Whiting Petroleum, an oil and gas explorer based in Denver being spun off by Alliant Energy (LNT), which is selling 15 million shares, underwritten by A.G. Edwards and Merrill Lynch; and Buffalo Wild Wings, a Minneapolis-based restaurant chain specializing in chicken wings, with about 2.7 million shares being sold through SG Cowen and RBC Capital Markets. Buffalo Wild is expected to be priced Thursday.

Three IPOs are all about the same size with $12-$14 price ranges: Cambridge, Mass.-based biotech TolerRx (TLRX:Nasdaq), selling 4.7 million shares (S.G. Cowen, J.P. Morgan); San Jose, Calif.-based Callidux Software (CALD:Nasdaq), selling 5 million shares (Citigroup); and Coons (CONN:Nasdaq), a consumer electronics and appliance retailer based in Beaumont, Texas, selling 4.15 shares (BancBoston Robertson Stephens, Robinson-Humphrey). All are expected to be priced on Wednesday.

Last week, three strong debuts from three very different companies hit the market. Semiconductor company Tessera (TSRA) on Thursday led the way with a 42% gain. LECG (XPRT), which provides expert witnesses and analysis for legal, legislative and regulatory issues, jumped more than 20% on Friday while equipment-lessor Marlin Business Services (MRLN) rose 15% on its first day of trading Wednesday.

In recent weeks, there has been a rash of biotech IPOs that have generally performed poorly and are down since their October debuts.

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