In case anyone was wondering whether the heady days of the late 1990s would ever return, just look to the IPO market.
Riding the coattails of the successful public debut of Jamdat Mobile
The company was originally hoping to offer 7 million shares at somewhere between $15 and $17, but demand allowed it to up the price to $19. Even a higher price and another 500,000 shares couldn't mute investor euphoria, though -- buyers sent the stock to $24 by the end of the day, valuing the company at $793 million. Not bad for a day's work.
Actually, InPhonic's IPO took years of work. The company originally filed its offering in November 2002 but withdrew the offer because of a rocky market. Still, not a bad showing for two years' work.
But for those not fortunate enough to be an accredited investor, does this new issue provide an opportunity? After all, the company's revenues are soaring, making it Inc. Magazine's No. 1 pick for the fastest growing private company in the U.S. in 2003.
Unfortunately, soaring revenues don't help if the costs are soaring along with it. InPhonic is still not profitable, though it is getting closer. Even with $144 million in revenue for the past nine months, InPhonic logged an operating loss of more than $8 million.
And its coverage in Inc. Magazine may actually land them in hot water with the SEC, just as Google
To keep emotion in check, investors should keep the 10-foot pole handy with InPhonic and stay on the sidelines for a while. The company has a list of preferred share allocations almost as long as Santa's Christmas list that may come into play after the six-month lockup period.
Expect the next quarter to be a blowout, as the Christmas season is always good for wireless retailers. Shortsighted investors may be lured into a short-term profit trend, though. Best to at least wait out the lockup period and check for progress toward a sustainable business model in the following quarters.
Fool contributor Dave Mock understands the lure of Jacuzzis and bikinis, but where and why did bunny ears ever come into the mix? He owns no shares of companies mentioned in this article.