SAN FRANCISCO -- Here's a good test to determine if Internet IPOs are still hot: Start trading on a day when the
is sharply lower.
(AWEB:Nasdaq) are bucking the downward trend in the market, more than doubling in price despite the losses in the broader index. The stock was priced at 14 Monday and reached a high of 29 1/2 today. It was recently trading 14 higher at 28. Autoweb is an Internet service connecting car buyers with dealers.
"In a way, it's a kind of speculative ecstasy -- people keep bidding them up and bidding them up," says Randall Roth, an analyst with
, which runs the
Renaissance Capital IPO Fund
Those missing out on today's IPO shouldn't fret.
(ABTL:Nasdaq), which is in the same business as Autoweb, is expected to be priced today and go public Wednesday.
Autobytel.com could delay its pricing, Roth says, because of the market's weakness today and the company's competition with Autoweb. While Autoweb has about half the revenue of Autobytel, he says, it is losing about half as much.
Also set to go public this week is
, a Web site that researches the best links for users on over 600 topics. Roth says the deal may be priced either today or Wednesday.
No Go for Go2Net
is one of the largest point losers in the Nasdaq today. There may be some disappointment that there was no announcement of a split following a shareholders meeting on Monday. At the meeting, CEO Russ Horowitz said he was "very comfortable" with analysts' estimate that the company would earn 12 cents a share for fiscal 1999. The stock was lately off 13 3/8, or 9%, at 137 11/16.
Also one of the leading decliners on the day is
. The stock was down 13 9/16, or 10%, to 121 5/8 in recent trading as traders took profits from the recent run-up in the stock. Shares of RealNetworks were trading around 70 on Feb. 26.