Infospace.com jumped more than 50 percent after the online content aggregator took the unusual step of pricing its 5 million-share offering in the middle of a trading session.
Shares of Infospace (INSP) opened for trading at $23 at about 1:15 p.m. ET, compared with an offering price of $15 a share, and fell 10 percent in trading of more than 3.1 million shares. It closed at $20.
Typically, companies going public price their IPOs after the market closes, with trading starting the next day.
A spokeswoman for lead underwriter Hambrecht & Quist had no comment on the timing of the IPO, which had been expected to price last week. Redmond, Wash.-based Infospace had to wait for final approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission, which only arrived Tuesday morning.
Infospace.com syndicates content, such as yellow pages and maps, from more than 65 content partners. More than 300 sites use the company's content. America Online uses the company's white pages and classifieds database, for instance, but AOL last week opted to switch to yellow-pages content from a competitor.
"The model makes more sense than a lot of the ones I've seen," said Standard & Poor's new-issue analyst Mark Basham. "Every large company is going to have their own Internet site and want this type of content to add value for their employees and their customers."
Infospace.com's founder and chief executive, Naveen Jain, will own about half of the company. Jain, a former Microsoft (MSFT) executive, funded most of the company by himself, although he did get some help from Acorn Ventures. Jain, though, has been quoted as referring to venture capital as "vulture capital."
Earlier this week, Infospace upped the terms of its deal in an SEC filing. It had planned to offer 4 million shares at $9 to $11 but revised both the size and price range to 5 million shares at $13 to $15 each.
Other deals expected this week include Pacific Internet, a Singapore-based Internet service provider focused on Asia; expense report software developer Concur Technologies; and Merkert America, a food products distributor.
Written By Darren Chervitz