Article

RightNow goes public

Barney Beal

RightNow Technologies Inc. joined the ranks of publicly traded companies Thursday with its initial public offering (IPO) on the NASDAQ.

The Bozeman, Mont., company offered 6.3 million shares of its common stock at a price of $7 per share. That price is a drop from the $9 to $11 figure the company cited in its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last month. The company will trade under the ticker symbol "RNOW." On Thursday, its shares reached as high as $7.52 before falling back to its initial price of $7 at the market's close.

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RightNow joins San Francisco's Salesforce.com as the second hosted CRM provider to go public this summer. On June 23, Salesforce.com debuted on the New York Stock Exchange at a set price of $11 per share. Salesforce.com's stock surged in the days following its IPO but has since fallen back following an announcement that the company would fall short of estimated revenues. Its trading price was $10.90 as of Friday morning.

The IPOs of Salesforce.com and search engine company Google were expected to revitalize interest and investment in high-tech ventures. RightNow CEO Greg Gianforte has credited Salesforce.com with blazing the trail for on-demand software companies' stock in the public market.

RightNow, which caters mainly to the customer service side of CRM, has said it will use the IPO proceeds for acquisitions, expansion and working capital. The company has more than 1,000 active clients, and the fourth quarter of 2003 was its 25th consecutive quarter of revenue growth and seventh consecutive quarter of cash flow positive business.

The managing underwriters of the RightNow stock offering are Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc., acting as sole book-running manager, and Thomas Weisel Partners LLC, acting as co-lead manager.


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