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Updated from 11:52 a.m. EDT

Rosetta Stone


should be very happy (or

très heureux

, or

muy feliz

, or even

molto felice

) with the results from its initial price offering.

Bad jokes aside, Rosetta Stone's IPO is remarkable in that it is the first in nearly a year to price above its expected range. The language learning software provider said late Wednesday that the 6.25 million shares of common stock is it is offering priced at $18 a share, compared to the expected range of $15 to $17 a share.



was the last IPO to price above its expected range way back on May 8. Coincidentally, Colfax shares also priced at $18 a share after the company proposed a range of $15 to $17 a share.

Rosetta Stone raised a total of $112.5 million through 3,125,000 shares of common stock. Selling stockholders are offering the remaining 3,125,000 shares in the offering. The small amount of shares offered generated a lot of investor interest, as the stock surged $7.12, or 39.5%, to close at $25.12.

Rosetta Stone's IPO also helps mark the most successful period for IPOs since August. On April 1, Chinese video game maker Limited


priced its IPO at $16 a share, and only Wednesday

Bridgepoint Education


shares rallied after being priced below its expected range.

In the first week of August, data hosting provider



and Chinese ad agency

China Mass Media

( CMM) made their respective debuts. Both IPOs came within weeks of

GT Solar International's

( SOLR) and

China Distance Education's


initial offerings.

What remains to be seen is whether Rosetta Stone will see the same high returns as other recent share offerings. currently has a 70.6% return, and

Mead Johnson Nutrition


, the Evansville, Ind.-based baby-formula maker, which

made its debut

on Feb. 10, currently has a return of 10.9%.

Grand Canyon Education


, which started the streak of winning IPOs after it priced its shares in November, has seen a return of 22.7%.

Morningstar equity analyst Brady Lemos says Rosetta Stone has a few advantages during times of economic turmoil, which could bode well for returns for investors.

"As a provider of educational software, Rosetta Stone is more resilient to economic slumps than many other software firms, in our opinion," Lemos said in a research note. "We think Rosetta Stone offers a relatively compelling value proposition (a typical three-level program costs about $500), particularly in a challenging consumer spending environment."

However, Lemos warns that Rosetta Stone's business model will likely face several challenges in the coming years.

"While we think its unique self-study program is scalable, niche software developers like this rarely enjoy success over the long term," he wrote. "In our opinion, the business lacks a sustainable competitive advantage over other software firms that might have far greater resources ... . There's little stopping another company from developing superior software or securing better distribution.

"Consequently, Rosetta Stone's long-term prospects hinge on its ability to adapt to competitive threats and consumer tastes," Lemos added. Ratings, recently cited for Best Stock Selection from October 2007 through February 2009 , is an independent research provider that combines fundamental and technical analysis to offer investors tremendous value in volatile times. To see how your portfolio can use this research, click here now!