Updated from 11:52 a.m. EDT

Rosetta Stone ( RST) 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.

Colfax ( CFX) 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 Changyou.com Limited ( CYOU) priced its IPO at $16 a share, and only Wednesday Bridgepoint Education ( BPI) shares rallied after being priced below its expected range.

In the first week of August, data hosting provider Rackspace ( RAX) 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 ( DL) initial offerings.

What remains to be seen is whether Rosetta Stone will see the same high returns as other recent share offerings. Changyou.com currently has a 70.6% return, and Mead Johnson Nutrition ( MJN), the Evansville, Ind.-based baby-formula maker, which made its debut on Feb. 10, currently has a return of 10.9%.

Grand Canyon Education ( LOPE), 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.

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