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Like a flaming baked Alaska dessert or a sizzling fajita skillet, OpenTable (Nasdaq: OPEN  ) is being served blazing hot today.

The restaurant reservation specialist's IPO is a rousing success. Originally set to price between $12 and $14 -- before a late push to a more ambitious pricing range of $16 to $18 -- the stock was priced at $20 a stub last night.

And that wasn't enough. The stock opened at $24.50 and was trading as high as $30 before pulling back to the high $20s.

OpenTable runs a growing network of Web-based reservations. Its revenue comes primarily from subscriptions to its electronic reservations book -- a Web-tethered platform that helps manage an eatery's reservations -- and the royalties it receives when a table is successfully filled through its namesake site. Subscription and reservation revenue made up 54% and 41% of total OpenTable revenue last year.

With 10,000 restaurants -- and counting -- on its rolls, OpenTable is benefiting from the network effect. As more restaurants sign up, Web-savvy foodies are flocking to OpenTable's site. As more potential diners hit the site, eateries hungry for traffic are flocking to the company's platform.

Revenue soared 36% to $55.8 million last year. The company's margins haven't been as noteworthy, though OpenTable has squeezed out a pre-tax profit in each of the past three years. 

Ultimately, this is just another reason for investors to begin warming up to the IPO pipeline. Look at what else we've seen this year:

2009 IPOs




Mead-Johnson (NYSE: MJN  )



19% (Nasdaq: CYOU  )




Bridgepoint Education (NYSE: BPI  )




Rosetta Stone (NYSE: RST  )




DigitalGlobal (NYSE: DGI  )




SolarWinds (NYSE: SWI  )




Open Table




Most of the 2009 debutantes are trading comfortably ahead of their original price tags. Online educator Bridgepoint Education was soaring this morning, so last week's DigitalGlobal IPO is the only one underwater at this point.

As for OpenTable, just the act of going public this morning is beneficial. Fence-sitting restaurants will now know that they are dealing with a financially viable company, and one has to imagine that traffic to will surge this week as the company finds itself in the news.

So, well done on the IPO, OpenTable. Now let's hope that there's also an after-dinner mint waiting. 

Some ABCs on IPOs:

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is glad to see the IPO spigot flowing again. He owns no shares in any of the companies in this story and is part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

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