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The days of routinely stratospheric IPOs might be over, but some tech companies can still be pleasantly surprised by day's end. Take palmtop maker Handspring Inc., for example. Shares of the IPO started at $20 Wednesday and soared almost 40 percent before ending at $25-15/16, a 35% increase since the opening bell.
Handspring's IPO was a success, says Jeff Hirschkorn a senior market analyst with IPO.com, because of the company's deep management, strong backers, and even stronger product, the Visor. "This is a 'flight to quality' issue," says Hirschkorn. "Investors are getting wiser, and gravitating these days only towards companies with solid market offerings and strong management."
The Visor is poised to take a serious chunk of marketshare from Palm Computing's cultishly popular Pilot, which owns 80% of the market. The Visor first shipped in September and has won raves from consumers and analysts alike, winning awards in design and functionality. Of course, Handspring now must deal with a re-energized Microsoft in the palmtop market, too.
Hirschkorn says Handspring's recent expansion overseas, which could benefit from the cash infusion of the IPO, might be the company's bid to dominate the non-U.S. market for handhelds before the others catch up.-
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