I'll be honest and tell you that I thought I had another easy week.

Wrong-o,Bennie-boy! It seems as if the syndicate departments are hot and slinging a little business our way for the last half of this week. All ofthe items listed below are secondaries and follow-ons, not IPOs, so proceedaccordingly.

I've put a fair amount of effort into each read and have given you myopinion on how I think these deals will do. As always, I urge you to downloada prospectus and have a clear plan before you buy anything.

Here are the deals:

Follow-on: (ATVI:Nasdaq) Publisher of interactive entertainment software products
Deal size: 5,000,000
Filed: 7/27/01 - 37.87
Led by: Merrill Lynch
My take: This stock has had one helluva run since Jan. 1, when it traded at about $14. The shares got toppy sometime around the end of June and have had difficulty mounting any sort of lasting advance since then. (Bear in mind the market we've been in since then.) Video-game makers live and die by the holiday seasons. If there is any further upside to this stock, it will come from the expectations for strong results for the next two quarters. The company produces some very hot titles, and given their successes over the past eight months, I would say that they can likely beat analysts' estimates.

Follow-on: (NLY:NYSE) Owns and manages a portfolio of mortgage-backed securities
Deal size: 7,000,000
Filed: 8/28/01 - 13.60
Led by: UBS Warburg Paine
My take: This company owns and manages a huge CMO (collateralized mortgage obligations) portfolio. CMOs are a type of bond made up of pooled home mortgages. In a past life I traded CMOs, so I know a wee bit about the beasts. Here's what you need to know: In recent quarters CMOs have underperformed Treasuries. There are a myriad of reasons why this is true, the scope of which will not fit in this article. Just understand that as rates go down, people tend to refinance their home mortgages. We are right on the cusp of a huge prepayment (refinancing) wave, and the holders of pooled mortgage investments will be looking at a large chunk of cash that needs to be invested in a low interest-rate environment. My opinion is that investors (like Annaly) are facing some tough times in the near future.

Secondary: (STZ:NYSE) Leader in the production and marketing of beverage alcohol brands in North America and the U.K.
Deal size: 2,150,000
Filed: 8/31/01 - 42.35
Led by: Salomon Smith Barney
My take: This offering is comprised of shares owned by the Sands family, the founders of Constellation Brands. The stock has fallen off sharply since this deal was announced, but given their strong performance since January and a 2-for-1 split back in May, the shares are still highly valued. Stocks that sell off immediately after a secondary is announced often perform well when the deals are priced. As you may remember, Constellation acquired Ravenswood Winery in April of this year.

Follow-on: (FCE.A:NYSE) One of the leading real estate development companies in the U.S.
Deal size: 2,250,000
Filed: 8/31/01 - 52.55
Led by: Goldman Sachs
My take: Forest City is a well-known developer in the Denver region and in many other parts of the country. It is considered to be a well-diversified operator and is quite profitable. Shares have dipped since this deal was slated, but analysts' views for real estate companies are solid. Depending on how this deal is priced, there may be a small upside for buyers.

Secondary: (MXO:NYSE) Provider of high-quality, high-performance hard disk drives and workgroup/entry level network attached storage.
Deal size: 25,754,409
Filed: 5/24/01 - 6.98
Led by: Salomon Smith Barney
My take: Maxtor shares have faced a tough market for some time, and the dark cloud over technology hasn't helped. If you went solely by the analysts' calls, you'd be borrowing your kids' college money to "buy" the stock. I'd suggest you not do that. Consensus tells me that a turnaround for component makers like Maxtor is, at least, a few quarters away.

Ben Holmes is the founder of ipoPros.com, a Boulder, Colo.-based research boutique (now a wholly-owned subsidiary of TheStreet.com) specializing in the analysis of equity syndicate offerings. This column is not meant as investment advice; it is instead meant to provide insight into the methods of new and secondary offerings. Neither Holmes nor his firm has entered indications of interest in any of the companies discussed in this column. Holmes' This Week in IPOs column appears Sundays, This Week's Secondaries appears Tuesdays, Upcoming Lockup Expirations appears Wednesdays and The Quiet Period appears on Fridays. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Holmes appreciates your feedback and invites you to send it to Ben Holmes.