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Wheels Coming Off the IPO Market

August 12, 2004

With H-P whiffing on its numbers and the announcement earlier in the week of an uncertain outlook from bellwether Cisco, the wheels continue to come off the tech market. The Wall Street Journal reports today that PlanetOut, the gay and lesbian community site, and Claria, an adware developer, are both pulling their IPOs until the market recovers.
Put this one on cinder blocks…
Not that either of these companies really had a choice, but the decision to postpone the IPOs is a good one. In light of the fact that even Google’s IPO is now in jeopardy of flopping, small-time players like PlanetOut and Claria are wise to avoid the public spotlight.
The a:c has spoken with asset managers on both coasts and the outlook is decidedly gloomy, both for tech investments and across the economy at large. Investors have been happy to merely break even this summer, but it seems that such a middling performance will be harder and harder to sustain.
Update: Just after we filed this story, yet another IPO got yanked. The company is MatchNet, a provider of online personals, and there may be more to this one – the CEO got sacked as well.
Read – PlanetOut Postpones IPO, Citing Market Conditions [WSJ – sub. req.]
Read – Claria Withdraws IPO [WSJ – sub. req.]
Read – Hewlett-Packard Earnings Fall Short [Reuters via Yahoo]
Read – MatchNet withdraws IPO; chief executive resigns [Reuters via Yahoo]


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