Verisign, the first high profile technology IPO of the year, raised hopes that 1998 will be a better year for public offerings than 1997 was.
The security specialist saw its shares rise to $25.5 on its first day of trading. The company provides digital certificates to individuals and companies, allowing them to encrypt or digitally sign messages. Verisign vouches for the identity of those who receive its digital certificates.
The company lost $19.2 million on revenue of $9.4 million in 1997. But that did not discourage investors. Nor did the fact that the young company faces competition from the likes of IBM, GTE and Nortel. With the target price set at $14, the shares immediately shot up to $17 and continued to rise during the day. Initially, the company had expected the price to fall between $9 and $11.
VeriSign offered three million shares, raising $42 million.
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