Opera Shares Rise in Opening Day

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2004-03-11 Print this article Print

The Norwegian browser maker's initial public offering piques investors' interest, sending the stock price modestly higher.

Shares of Norway-based Opera Software ASA began trading on Thursday on the Oslo Stock Exchange, rising steadily throughout the day to close at 11.40 Norwegian kroner ($1.61) a share. Opera, the Web browser maker that announced plans last month for an initial public offering, said ahead of trading that demand for shares outweighed supply by 20 times. The company issued 12.5 million shares with an opening price of 10 kroner ($1.41) a share. "We are pleased with the interest from investors, especially from abroad," Opera Board Chairman Christian Thommessen said in a statement. "The interest in our IPO and listing is an endorsement from the marketplace that Operas technology is playing a significant role in the evolution of the Internet."
About 83 percent of the subscriptions for shares were from international institutional investors, Opera said. The stock is trading under the symbol "OPERA."
Operas Web browser competes with Microsoft Corp.s market-leading Internet Explorer. Opera also has pushed aggressively into the mobile browser space, and earlier this week announced plans for the next release of its mobile browser. Opera Version 7 for Smartphones and PDAs already is shipping on Kyocera Corp.s new ITRON-based phone in Asia, and Opera plans to announce deployments soon on the Symbian and Linux operating systems, the company announced on Tuesday. The mobile version of Opera 7 is based on the same core technology as Operas desktop browser, making its "Presto" engine available on mobile devices. The new version includes support for the World Wide Web Consortiums Document Object Model (DOM) for dynamically accessing and updating content, Opera officials said. It also can support so-called street HTML, or non-standard HTML code common in Web pages. Check out eWEEKs Developer & Web Services Center at http://developer.eweek.com for the latest news, reviews and analysis in programming environments and developer tools.
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Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for eWEEK.com, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for eWEEK.com. Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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