Thursday, April 16, 2009

You Call That Success?

Yesterday, language software company Rosetta Stone Inc. entered the IPO market. Today, its stock is up more than 40%. As is typical when a new stock jumps following its offering, the financial media has hailed this as a success.

The U.S. IPO market continued its winning streak for 2009 Thursday, with Rosetta Stone Inc.'s initial public offering gaining more than 40% by midday.

It might be a win for the market, but I'm not sure it is for Rosetta Stone, whose bankers apparently failed to extract all they could out of the offering.

Why couldn't the banks sell it at $25/share yesterday, when Rosetta Stone gets to collect the proceeds from the sale? Did the company all of sudden look much more attractive? Of course not. But instead of raising an extra 40% for the company, they sold the stock at lower level to reap gains for their stock trader buddies, and, presumably, themselves. Just another case of investment bankers looking out for themselves ahead of their clients.

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