Expedia More Than Triples in Price in Its Trading Debut

Three other companies, including the record-setting UPS, all premiered with stellar performances.
Publish date:


(EXPE) - Get Report

made a spectacular debut Wednesday, more than tripling in price.

The 5.2 million shares offered were priced at $14 a share, opened at 37 and closed at 53 7/16, after trading as high as 63. A wholly owned subsidiary of


(MSFT) - Get Report

prior to the initial public offering, the online travel agency is now a separate company, 86.4% owned by Microsoft. Even so, it continues to be the exclusive provider of travel services on Microsoft's


network of Internet services.

Expedia faces competition from a large number of travel-related sites, including

Yahoo! Travel

, a unit of



; and


, owned by

Sabre Holdings

(TSG) - Get Report

. The competition will only get more fierce, as Travelocity and

Preview Travel


announced in October that they would merge. Other travel sites include

Cheap Tickets






However, priceline and Expedia employ different business models for the purchase of airline tickets. "priceline enables customers to name their price in exchange for relinquishing a certain degree of flexibility," said Ryan Alexander, an analyst at

Wit Capital

, "while Expedia provides more traditional travel agent services." Alexander rates priceline a buy and his firm has participated in underwriting for the company.

Goldman Sachs


Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

are joint book-running managers for the offering.

Three other companies also listed

today .

United Parcel Service

(UPS) - Get Report

closed up 17 1/4 to 67 1/4. The offering was led by

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

, and co-managed by

Goldman Sachs


Merrill Lynch


Credit Suisse First Boston


Salomon Smith Barney


Warburg Dillon Read

. Internet telephony services company



sold 6.8 million shares priced at $16 a share and closed up 24 1/4 to 40 1/4 on its first day of trade.

Robertson Stephens

led the underwriting syndicate and

Hambrecht & Quist


U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray

co-managed the deal. Broadband communications company

Next Level Communications

sold 8.5 million shares priced at $20 a share and closed up 30 3/4 to 50 3/4. The underwriters were

Merrill Lynch


Credit Suisse First Boston


Lehman Brothers


Warburg Dillon Read


Volpe Brown Whelan & Co.