Though Still Blaring, MP3 Quieter in Afternoon Action

The company has dropped sharply from the high of 105 it reached earlier in the day.
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Though MP3.com (MPPP) , the online music distributor and virtual record label, unquestionably has been bringing the noise on its first day public, investors in the company have experienced a few volume changes over the course of today's trading session.

MP3 opened at 92 and reached a high of 105 in its first 15 minutes of trading. But the stock has dropped sharply since then and was recently trading up 39, or 140%, at 67.

Randall Roth, an analyst with

Renaissance Capital's

(IPOSX)

IPO Fund, said the early price action in MP3 suggested the IPO market may be returning to the mindset it had earlier in the year, when investors were indiscriminate about what they were buying.

"It might be too early to say the froth is coming back, but it's definitely foaming at the mouth," he said. "We're getting the rabid daytraders back in the market."

Roth said that MP3 was in a hot area of the Net and also was benefiting from its name, which makes it appear as if it has proprietary ownership of MP3 technology. Though the company does not, said Roth, "they're definitely one of the more powerful players in the MP3 movement."

The strong performance of MP3 was overshadowing the market's other Internet IPOs.

Hoover's

(HOOV)

, a provider of Internet business information, was up 13 5/16, or 95%, at 27 5/16 in recent trading. And

Voyager.net

(VOYN)

, an Internet service provider in the Midwest, was up 1 5/8, or 11%, at 16 5/8.

Another Net stock making noise today was

RealNetworks

(RNWK) - Get Report

, recently trading up 7 1/16, or 9%, at 84 7/8. The company, which makes streaming software for playing audio and video over the Net, beat Street estimates with flat earnings for its second quarter vs. a 2-cent loss estimate. The fact that the company was close to turning a profit appears to have fueled gains in the stock. Losses for the quarter were $207,000.

BancBoston Robertson Stephens

, which has done underwriting for RealNetworks, revised its earnings for the company to a 7-cent gain for fiscal 1999 from a 1-cent gain previously. Also, Rob Martin, an analyst with

Friedman Billings Ramsey

, said that advertising growth was stronger than expected and the company's recently introduced RealJukebox has been embraced by consumers, with 5 million downloads. Friedman Billings Ramsey is not an underwriter for RealNetworks.