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In a move that could bode well for future tech offerings, shares of software maker

Callidus Software


soared on its first day of trading Thursday.

Callidus, the first software IPO this year and one of several new offerings this week, sold 5 million shares at $14 a share, the high end of its proposed range. Shares of Callidus reached as high as $19 intraday Thursday and were lately up $3.30, or 23.5%, to $17.40. The San Jose, Calif.-based company makes software applications to manage pay-for-performance programs.

Founded as TallyUp Software in 1996, Callidus edged into the black in the first nine months of 2003, with net income of $171,000. The company posted a net loss of $19 million on $26.6 million in revenue in 2002.

Revenue for the nine-month period climbed to $49.4 million, more than double the $18.5 million reported in the same period a year ago. License revenue more than tripled to $26.6 million in that period from $6.8 million a year earlier.

"It's just turned profitable, so they just came public at the right time," said Jeff Hirschkorn, a senior analyst at New York-based research firm Alpha Advisors. "It's been rewarded with a very good first day."

The strong debut of Callidus could be good news for

Open Solutions

, another software vendor scheduled to debut next week, Hirschkorn said.

Glastonbury, Conn.-based Open Solutions makes software for the financial services industry. Underwriters, led by Bear Stearns, plan to sell 5 million shares with a proposed price range of $14 to $16. The firm will trade on Nasdaq with the symbol OPEN.

Citigroup, Lehman Brothers and U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray were the underwriters for Callidus, whose chief executive said he was "overwhelmed" and "gratified" Thursday afternoon.

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"Callidus is one of the first enterprise software companies to go public in a long, long time," said Callidus CEO Reed Taussig. "So I think one thing that it shows or it demonstrates is that investors have re-embraced meat-and-potatoes businesses. A traditional business model that performs well with big customers is something that is attractive again, and I think that is a good thing."

Taussig said his company competes against the major enterprise software vendors, including

Siebel Systems

( SEBL). Among its customers:

Dun & Bradstreet




BEA Systems


Airborne Express


Callidus had $15.2 million in cash on its books Sept. 30.