Vintage watches, marketing gimmicks sell on Wall Street

It's a busy day for floatations in the US, with luxury goods, enterprise computing specialists and marketing startups hoping to make a splash on Wall Street.

Ashford.com, Cybergold, Interactive Intelligence and Yesmail.com have all priced for debut Thursday.

Ashford.com, (Proposed ticker: ASFD) is one of this week's optimistic debutantes. The Internet retailer of luxury goods priced its 6.25 million shares at $13, the top of its projected $11-$13 per share range.

The seller of vintage watches, sunglasses and perfume hopes to raise about $68.5m (£42m) by cashing in on consumers who can't find the luxury goods they want in retail stores. Ashford.com, sells products including perfume, leather goods, scarves, and jewellery from more than 150 brands The company posted about $3.2m in net losses on $3.6m in net sales during the second quarter of this year.

Ashford.com plans to use the proceeds of its IPO for marketing, investments in technologies and interest-bearing securities. It also plans to increase its inventory, and acquire facilities to make room for growth. Goldman, Sachs & Co., BancBoston Robertson Stephens, Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown, and E*Offering -- the lead underwriters for the IPO -- have been allotted 937,500 extra shares to sell in case of heavy demand.

CyberGold (Proposed ticker: CGLD), a provider of Internet-based direct marketing and advertising services that offers online rebates, will offer five million shares at $9, the top of its expected price range of $7 to $9 a share. The deal is being underwritten by SG Cowen, with CIBC World Markets and Volpe Brown Whelan acting as co-managers.

Cybergold had a net loss for the six months ended 30 June of $3.9m on revenue of $1.3m, compared to a net loss of $2.4m on revenue of $271 000 for the same period in 1998. Risks cited in the regulatory filings include the possible reluctance of consumers to use an incentives-based marketing program online. Of Cybergold's approximate 2.6 million members, its revenue comes from a very small minority. About 470,000 members have requested not to receive email from Cybergold. The company said revenue comes mostly from commissions paid by advertisers and direct marketers based on specific actions taken by its members. Cybergold also faces competition from other companies offering competitive online incentives programs, including MyPoints.com, and Netcentives.

Interactive Intelligence priced 2.67 million shares at $13 each for trading Thursday. Shares were priced at the top of their estimated $11-$13 range. The IPO will be underwritten by Merrill Lynch. Co-managers are Hambrecht & Quist and USB Piper Jaffray.

The company, which makes software that integrates communication systems with information technology, is one of many enterprise software companies making its debut this week. Bluestone Software (Proposed ticker: BLSW) is expected to price Thursday for trading Friday.

For the six months ended 30 June 30, Interactive Intelligence had a loss of 3.8 million on revenue of $5.5m, compared to the net loss of $3.2m on $3m in revenue for the same period of 1998. The company has accumulated a loss of $18.8m since its inception. Risks cited in the regulatory filings include the company's reliance on Dialogic, its sole supplier of the voice processing boards that are necessary for the operation of EIC, its proprietary software. Intel recently acquired Dialogic. After deductions, the company expects to earn about $29.1m from its IPO. The company said it intends to spend proceeds on general purposes, and the repayment of debt, including about $7.3m, owed to the company's principal stockholder, Dr. Donald E. Brown.

Yesmail.com also priced for a Thursday debut. The company that delivers targeted email marketing will toss 3.4 million shares on the market priced at $11 each. The estimated price range had been $10 to $12 dollars a share. Yesmail had a net loss of $5.5m on revenue of $3.6m for the six months ended 30 June, as compared to a net loss of $460 000 on revenue of $2m for the same period in 1998.

Lead underwriter for the offering is Deutsche Banc Alex Brown; Thomas Weisel and Volpe Brown Whelan are co-managers. Risks cited in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission include an accumulated deficit of $7.7m as of 30 June, and the uncertainty that customers will accept direct mail marketing. Some commentators, privacy advocates and governmental bodies have suggested limiting or eliminating the use of personal profiles, on which Yesmail.com's business depends.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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