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Internet Mania Rages on With IPOs and Splits

A split announced by spurs the stock to lead point gainers in the Nasdaq.

SAN FRANCISCO -- There's no better example of Internet mania than the frenzy surrounding a company's stock-split announcement or the price action when an Internet company goes public.

The latest example in the split category is


, which Thursday

announced board approval of a 2-for-1 stock split to take place on May 14 for all shareholders of record on May 3. was the leading point gainer on the


early today, up 21, or 36%, at 80.

Its price action looks much like what occurred earlier this week when

(INSP) - Get Inspire Medical Systems, Inc. Report

announced a split. The stock went from 89 before the split to a high of 119 Thursday, and it was trading around 106 early today.

These stocks have run up immediately after their split announcements, but they also tend to move higher just ahead of when the split is enacted. Shares of

Exodus Communications


have been up sharply this week ahead of its April 12 split. It began the week trading around 149 and has rallied to a high of 182. It was trading down 5 11/16, or 3%, at 176 1/8, as traders took some profits ahead of Monday's split.

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Price action for Internet IPOs has been nothing short of mad. In its debut on Thursday,

Internet Value America

(VUSA:Nasdaq), which sells computer, office and technology products, more than tripled from the 23 level where it was priced and closed 30 points higher at 55 3/16.

Today's Net IPO is


(TURF:Nasdaq), the online unit of teen clothing retailer



. It was priced at 22.

Other IPO plays today include two software makers:

Extreme Networks

(EXTR:Nasdaq) and



On the Move

Vitesse Semiconductor


beat earnings estimates by a penny Thursday and received favorable comments from market analysts, but the stock is getting pummeled today. Vitesse was down 6 7/16, or 11%, at 51 3/16.

Charlie Glavin, analyst with

Credit Suisse First Boston

said there is some concern that

Lucent Technologies'


planned use of subcontractors may hurt Vitesse's business, but he said such worries are unfounded. He said Vitesse will receive the same amount of business from the subcontractors and detailed forecasts, so the company's visibility will not be impaired. CS First Boston does not have an underwriting relationship with Vitesse, and it maintains a strong buy rating on the stock.

Also on the move is

e.spire Communications


. The company was mentioned in

Business Week's

Inside Wall Street column as being undervalued and a potential buyout candidate, according to an analyst. It was trading up 2 3/8, or 18%, at 14 15/16.