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Energy IPOs Experience Muted Opening Sessions

February 07, 2001|BridgeNews

Two first-time stock offerings by energy companies opened with little fanfare Tuesday in a downbeat new issues market that bears little resemblance to the roaring IPO market of the 1990s and 2000.

ATP Oil & Gas (ATPG) closed unchanged from its offer price of $14 a share, despite the fact that oil prices continue to sit at historically high levels and California's energy woes have dominated news reports in recent weeks. The muted open surprised analysts--many felt ATP would be one of this week's strongest debuts.

"I was surprised ATP didn't open a bit stronger," said Vincent Slavin, institutional trader at Cantor Fitzgerald. "I guess the stock was held back because it wasn't a great day for the energy sector. The IPO market is trying to crawl back, but it's going to be a while before interest returns to new issues in a major way."

Tuesday's other deal, Williams Energy Partners (WEG), enjoyed a slightly better opening session, rising $2.50 to $24. Yet the action was hard to read because the IPO, which was priced in units, traded on relatively anemic volume for a debut session.

Attention is now likely to shift to 2001's first high-profile IPO, KPMG Consulting, scheduled to open Thursday. The business consulting company is expected to bring a mammoth 112 million shares to market at $16 to $18 each.

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