woensdag, september 07, 2005

IPO Netsape 10 years ago, start of the HYPE

In two days the 10 year anniversary of the IPO of Netscape will be celebrated.

This IPO is seen as THE start of the Internet bubble.

To put some of the craziness of the hype into perspective hereunder are a few of the calls Netscape got prior to the IPO.

Pure for enjoyment:

Caller: Do you know what the ticker symbol will be yet?

Finance: At this point I believe it will be "N" as in Netscape, "S" as in Sam, "C" as in Charlie, "P" as in Paul. "N-S-C-P".

Caller: That was "N" as in WHAT???

A "very influential" incoming Netscape caller:

Caller: How can I get on this "Friends of Netscape" stock list?

Finance: Do you have any connection to Netscape?

Caller: I just heard about the information superhighway. I was told Netscape was a user-friendly browser, so I want to be on the "Friends of Netscape" stock list.

Mr. Sophisticated?

Caller: I'm a very "sophisticated" investor who has a very substantial amount of money to invest in Netscape stock and I want to talk to someone to find out how I can get it cheap.

Finance: Have you spoken yet to our underwriters?

Caller: What's an underwriter?

Finance: Well, basically Netscape sells the shares of stock to an underwriter, in this case it's Morgan Stanley and also Hambrecht & Quist (interruption...)

Caller: Was that Hamburger Kissed?

Finance: No, H-A-M-B-R-E-C-H-T & Q-U-I-S-T

Caller: Now what are you calling them?

Finance: The underwriter. So we sell the shares to Morgan Stanley and they sell the shares to the public.

Caller: Could I talk to Mr. Stanley please?

Another "savvy investor" calls in:

Caller: Can I talk to the Chief Financial Officer?

Finance: I'm sorry, but he's traveling until at least August 9. Is there something I can help you with?

Caller: Well, I heard your company was going public and I was wondering if you could tell me what that means.

Finance: Well, that essentially means that our company will be trading a certain number of shares of our stock on the stock market, which will raise capital so that we can expand our business.

Caller: What's the stock market?

Good reason to call the CFO:

Netscape: Peter Currie's office. Can I help you.

Caller: Is he there?

Netscape: No, I'm sorry he's traveling until at least August 9.

Caller: I heard you guys were going public.

Netscape: Yes, we've filed with the SEC and expect trading could begin as early as next week but we don't have a definite date yet.

Caller: Trading what?

Netscape: Netscape stock.

Caller: Oh, is that what this is all about. I heard someone talking in line at the grocery store about Netscape going public and was wondering what that was all about.

Caller: (Excited) Did you get your own personal copy of the prospectus?

PR: Not yet, why?

Caller: It's going to become a collectors item and I need to get multiple copies so I can hold on to them.

PR: Are you planning to purchase our stock?

Caller: No. I just want copies of the prospectus.

Caller: Will the ticker symbol of your company be on my brokers computer screen?

PR: I assume so. I think you need to ask your broker that question.

Caller: I'm sending a letter to the SEC because I can't get any shares. I've been using Netscape from the beginning and I deserve them.

Caller: I went to the same University as Marc. Do you think Marc can get me some stock?

Caller: PLEASE let me in on the IPO. I'm trying to get some shares for charity.

Caller: Can I get a copy of your prospectus?

PR: Sure, send a fax to Morgan Stanley at 212-.......

Caller: Oh, send a fax.

PR: Yes, send a fax. They will mail you a copy.

Caller: Can you please tell me the date you are going public??

PR: You're kidding, right?

Caller: Ummmm. No.

PR: Well sir, it was TODAY. TODAY, Sir. It happened this morning.

Caller: Oh.

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