For Prodigy's Latest Rally, the Underwriting Was on the Wall

The company received strong support from Robbie Stephens this morning, when that firm gave the stock a buy rating.
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Though it lacks the requisite Caesar haircut to become an honorary member of the

Beatles

,

Prodigy

(PRGY)

is getting high -- or, at least,

higher

-- with a little help from its friends.

The Internet service provider is benefiting from a boost from an underwriter today, as

BancBoston Robertson Stephens

began its coverage of the company this morning with a buy rating.

The latest buy follows positive calls from

Bear Stearns

and

ING Baring Furman Selz

, which both initiated coverage of the stock on March 8 with buy recommendations.

Prodigy was lately trading up 2 9/16, or 7%, at 39 3/4, which is still below the 40 9/16 close from March 8.

Coverage of IPOs by research firms generally begins three weeks after a company first goes public. If a company has a secondary offering, the firms will often begin coverage immediately after the offering, as was the case with

Egghead.com

(EGGS)

earlier this

month.

NetGravity

(NETG)

, whose secondary offering came to market today, was trading up 7 3/4, or 24%, at 40. The company, which develops software to manage online advertising, sold a little more than 4 million shares, with 3.2 million shares offered by the company and 861,560 shares offered by NetGravity stockholders.

The Line on Priceline

Priceline.com

(PCLN)

, an online site that allows consumers to bid on airline tickets and hotel rooms, was recently hovering around 73 after opening at 81 and trading as high as 85. The stock was priced at 16 on Monday.

More eBay Fallout

Shares of

eBay

(EBAY) - Get Report

, which slid more than 6 on Monday following news that

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

was entering the online-auction

business, dropped 4 25/32, or 3%, to 143. Amazon was lately up 12 1/8, or 8%, to 161 after adding more than 10 on Monday.