AdForce, MediaMetrix Stocks Double on Opening Day

AdForce and MediaMetrix went public late last week, and the market sent both companies skyward on their first day of trading.

Cupertino, CA-based AdForce Inc. (ADFC) rose 14 15/16 to 29 15/16 as 7.8 million shares changed hands on the Nasdaq exchange. The company closed its first trading day with a market value of $573.9 million.

New York City-based measurement company Media Metrix Inc. (MMXI ) rose 28 9/16 to 45 9/16, also on Nasdaq. The company closed its first trading day with a market value of $762.2 million.

AdForce sold 4.5 million shares at $15 each, raising $67.5 million. The sale, which was handled by Hambrecht & Quist LLC, equaled a 23 percent stake in the company.

AdForce says it delivered 13.6 billion ads last year, and 13.2 billion in the first quarter of this year. Customers include 24/7 Media Inc., GeoCities, Netscape Communications Corp. and Modem Media.Poppe Tyson Inc.

AdForce lost $5 million on revenue of $3.2 million in the first quarter, compared with a loss of $2.6 million on revenue of $414,000 in the same period a year earlier. AdForce competes directly with DoubleClick’s DART service.

Media Metrix lost $7.5 million on revenue of $6.3 million last year, compared with a loss of $4.9 million on revenue of $3.2 million in 1997. It merged with Atlanta-based Relevant Knowledge in November. On a pro forma basis, as if the companies had been merged for the full year, the company lost $16.2 million on revenue of $8.1 million in 1998, according to a Bloomberg News report.

Media Metrix sold 3 million shares, or an 18 percent stake, at $17 each, raising $51 million.

Clients include America Online Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo. It’s competition includes Nielsen Media Research and NetRatings, which recently formed a strategic relationship to provide Internet audience measurement services.

Media Metrix said it will use some proceeds from the stock sale to redeem shares held by The NPD Group, a market research firm that is its largest shareholder. Media Metrix also said it will use some money for international expansion, for new product development and for other general corporate purposes.