eToys' Strong Debut Rattles the IPO Market

In its first day of trading, stock in the online toy retailer is up more than 250%.
Author:
Publish date:

SAN FRANCISCO -- Its success was not in doubt, but the IPO from eToys (ETYS:Nasdaq) is still posting numbers that are causing jaws to drop like a Rock'em Sock'em Robot.

eToys was recently trading up 57 9/16, or 287%, at 77 9/16 after reaching a high of 85.

Thomas Weisel Partners

analyst Christopher Vroom already is out with a note on the company with a strong buy recommendation. Thomas Weisel Partners did not underwrite for eToys and thus is allowed to issue research today.

Vroom said he expects eToys "to become a very large and very profitable company." How large? He said that, longer term, he anticipates sales of $10 billion in the U.S., with potential to double that with sales outside the U.S. Vroom said he would be an aggressive buyer of the stock up to 60, but would continue to recommend it at around 80, saying he thinks it's "one of the great growth stories of the next decade."

Vroom said the company undoubtedly will face stiff competition from companies like

Toys R Us

(TOY)

, but "we still think that eToys has established a relationship that is a particularly strong one" and one that will benefit from its recent purchase of

Babycenter

.

But eToys has a way to go if it is going to be the most successful Internet IPO of the year.

priceline.com

(PCLN)

has that honor thus far, rising 751% in its first day of trading in March.

Overshadowed by eToys' incredible start was the IPO of Web access provider

CAIS Internet

(CAIS:Nasdaq). Its stock was up 3 7/8, or 20%, at 22 7/8.