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IVillage Soars On IPO

Investors expected a lot from the debut of IVillage, and the women-focused Web site publisher didn't disappoint Friday afternoon as the stock opened for trading at 95 7/8 -- a 300 percent premium to its offering price of $24.

In very volatile early trading of more than 2 million shares, the stock traded at 85, off about 11 percent from the first trade price.

Lead underwriter Goldman Sachs originally slated New York-based IVillage (IVIL) to go public on Wednesday, but the company had to wait for final clearance from the Securities & Exchange Commission.

The strong debut was expected by most analysts, who said the company's market was an attractive one. "There's more than 25 million women that have access to [the Web]," said Kate Delhagen, director of online retail strategies at Forrester Research. "That's the reason for the frenzy."

The $24 offering price came in well above the original pricing range of $12 to $14 listed in the company's earlier IPO filings. The New York company sold 3.65 million shares.

Written by Darren Chervitz

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