Updated from 12:19 p.m. EDT
, the hand-held
rival, shot up 35% in its first day of trading, fueling hopes that the market for new issues has opened anew.
The second-largest telephone carrier in the world's most populous nation,
, also debuted strongly Wednesday on the
New York Stock Exchange
, up 14% in afternoon trading after rising as much as 17% in the morning. Handspring closed at 26 15/16, up 6 15/16.
"The quality names are coming on now, but this is not a full-blown recovery," said George Nichols, a stock analyst at
. "IPO investors are willing to test the waters with the strong names."
Shares of Mt. View, Calif.-based Handspring rose 7 to 27 in late afternoon trading Wednesday. The $200 million
offering of 10 million shares was priced at $20, higher than the range of $17 to $19, which had been
lowered at the beginning of June from the range of $19 to $22.
"It got a nice reception in the market," said Mary Lupo, an analyst at the
Renaissance IPO Plus Aftermarket Fund. "It's been one that a lot of people have been talking about recently. It's been gaining in popularity and is becoming a strong competitor with Palm."
Handspring has technology on its side. Developed using Palm Pilot technology, its deluxe Visor model costs only $249 and is powerfully loaded with eight megabytes of RAM. Another feature is the Springboard expansion slot, which users can use to buy plug-in modules like wireless modems and MP3 players.
Lupo pointed out that the modules can be a lucrative additional revenue stream for Handspring, while Palm will concentrate more on licensing its operating system. Palm already licenses that technology to Handspring, Japan's
. "They are trying to create sort of the standard for hand-held operating systems," she said.
Even so, there are
doubts that Handspring can topple Palm from its industry-leading spot, even as other PC makers, such as
, have introduced their own handheld products and
plans to release one of its own.
Beijing-based China Unicom's $4.9 billion initial public offering was priced at $19.99. The American depositary shares opened at 22 and closed at 22 3/8, up 2 49/256, or 12%.
The company's shares will being trading in Hong Kong on Thursday, with shares priced at 15.58 Hong Kong dollars each, or about $2, near the top of the range set by the company last week.
Unicom was established in 1994 by the Chinese government and has 4.15 million mobile-phone subscribers, one-third less than rival
, which went public in late 1997. Even so, the number of cellular subscribers in China leapt from 13.7 million in 1997 to 43.2 million at the end of last year, a penetration rate of only 3.4%.