Shares in TiVo Inc. nearly doubled in value on their first
day of trading last Thursday, closing at $29.94 each after peaking at $45 earlier that
The digital-television recording company had targeted its
IPO share price at $11 to $13, but decided to go to $16 because TiVo and its underwriters
felt there was enough demand to justify that, TiVo president Michael Ramsay said shortly
after the market closed Thursday.
Ramsay admitted he was a little surprised at the strong
performance, but said he was gratified at the confidence investors have in the
TiVo raised $88 million in the IPO, through the sale of 5.5
million shares of common stock.
Earlier, TiVo had raised money for its launch by selling
equity stakes to promotional partners such as DirecTV Inc. and Sony Corp. of America.
A Philips Electronics-branded TiVo system is sold at Best
Buy stores nationwide.
"Although we're a young company, we're
finding the people who have TiVo love it," Ramsay told attendees at the 1999 Global
Convergence Summit sponsored by PriceWaterhouseCoopers. "It's really changing
the way they watch television."
Personal-television recorders store programming on a hard
drive according to a viewer's selected favorite shows or actors, functioning as a
hybrid of video-on-demand and a high-tech VCR.
"Clearly, they have a concept that's new and
hot," said Saul Berman, PriceWaterhouseCoopers entertainment and media strategic
consulting leader. "TiVo has strong potential, at least in the short term."
In the longer term, Berman said, there is a question of
whether broadband set-top boxes and other consumer electronics devices will incorporate
the same functionality on their own. If TiVo establishes its brand name as a
personal-television-service provider, TiVo could still be a long-term player.
TiVo already faces competition in the personal television
category from Replay Networks Inc. and the DishPlayer direct-broadcast-satellite system
from EchoStar Communications Corp. and Microsoft Corp.'s WebTV.
Ramsay predicted that TiVo technology would one day be
built directly into televisions. Through its partnership with DirecTV, TiVo will find its
way into DBS boxes next year.
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