eToys Ready to Play Wall Street's Game

The company's stock has priced at $20 a share and will begin trading tomorrow.
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eToys has moved beyond child's play and is ready to take on Wall Street.

After a brief delay in its initial public offering due to the acquisition of

BabyCenter

, the company increased the amount of shares it will offer and doubled its offering price.

Now the company will sell 8.32 million shares of stock at $20 a share, according to a filing with the

Securities and Exchange Commission

, generating $166.4 million from its offering. eToys previously said it would offer 8.2 million shares at a range of $8 to$10 each, generating as much as $82 million.

The company will have 101.78 million shares outstanding after its IPO. eToys will trade on the

Nasdaq

under the symbol ETYS.

"They're hoping to be a big company," says Richard Peterson, an IPO analyst at

Thomson Financial Securities Data

. "The IPO market has become a step to the M&A market."

The company says about 30% of the net proceeds of its offering will be used for technology and system upgrades and the expansion of its distribution operations and corporate offices. The rest of the proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes and working capital. A portion may be used to acquire complementary technologies or businesses, but outside of the BabyCenter merger, eToys says it currently has no commitments or agreements and is not involved in any negotiations.

Santa Monica, Calif.-based eToys had about 365,000 customers at the end of the quarter ended March 31, and about 75,000 were new customers added during that quarter. Net sales for the fiscal year ended March 31 totaled $30 million, compared to $700,000 for the previous year.

Including the BabyCenter acquisition, pro forma sales in the latest fiscal year totaled $34.7 million and the net loss for the period was $73.1 million. In the previous year, sales totaled $687,000 and the net loss was $2.3 million.

Upon the completion of the merger, eToys will issue 16.7 million shares of common stock in exchange for all outstanding shares of BabyCenter capital stock and will assume all outstanding BabyCenter options. The company expects the merger will close by the end of June 1999.

Underwriters of the deal include

Goldman Sachs

,

BancBoston Robertson Stephens

,

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

and

Merrill Lynch

.

--

Suzanne Galante

In other tech developments,

Lycos

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That might have been because

Dell

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got beat up after the PC heavyweight only met (and didn't

beat

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eBay

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closed up 7 1/4, or 4%, at 196 3/16. The online auctioneer said late Tuesday that it will acquire

Kruse International

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, an Internet credit-card payment company.

The second day of trading was a charm for recent IPO

Redback Networks

(RBAK:Nasdaq), a provider of broadband access networking systems. After gaining 61 points on its first day public, Redback Networks climbed an additional 6 3/8, or 7.6%, to 90 1/2 today.

BEA Systems

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closed up 2 1/8, or 11.5%, at 20 1/2 after besting first-quarter earnings estimates Tuesday.

SAP

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jumped 2 5/8, or 8%, to 36 1/4 after

Lehman Brothers

upgraded the stock to buy from neutral.