Updated from 12:22 p.m. EDT
America Online Latin America
had a predictably modest debut on Tuesday, rising nearly 10% in midday trading, after the price range for the
initial public offering was dramatically slashed last week.
The stock finished up 7/16, or 5%, at 8 7/16. The 25 million share offering was priced at $8 on
Monday night, the low end of the $8 to $10 range that had been lowered from $15 to $17.
The offering raised $200 million, a far cry from the $425 million expected when the Internet portal filed for its offering.
The company, based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is a joint venture between
, a Venezuelan media company. Its offering received such a low-key reception because investor enthusiasm for Internet plays, especially Latin American Internet plays, has
waned considerably since the heady days of earlier this year.
There are other troubles too, including faltering subscription rates and poor financial results. AOL Latin America is also enmeshed in a tough market where some of the leaders of the Latin American Internet service provider market are now providing free Internet access. Meanwhile, AOL seeks to bill itself as a company that possesses exclusive content that's worth paying for.