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Another Cloud Computing IPO That'll Price Big

Wednesday, 21 Mar 2012 | 2:49 PM ET

The hot IPO this week is — what else — another cloud computing-type company, ExactTarget (check ticker when live:), looking to price 8.5 million shares from $15-$17 tonight (Wednesday), for trading tomorrow.

John Block | Botanica | Getty Images

It will certainly price above that, and open in the $20s, if recent history with cloud computing companies hold.

I've used "cloud computing" as a generic term, but companies like ExactTarget are really about interactive marketing, specifically cross-channel interactive marketing.

That's just a fancy term for pulling together all the ways that people communicate with each other into one giant database. It's the ultimate way of solving the dilemma of marketers: Consumers today are highly connected and can interact with friends in seconds — how do marketers stay relevant and connected?

Imagine combining what you do on email, mobile, Facebook, Twitter, text messaging, and the web into one giant, and very sophisticated, database. You'd know an awful lot about you and what you like to buy, wouldn't you?

ExactTarget has a platform called the Interactive Marketing Hub that enables marketers to integrate data from any source, including point of sale and social media. They can leverage the data to send highly personalized messages to individuals.

This of course raises tremendous privacy concerns: do you want powerful computers to sift out every detail of your digital life?

But it’s been a boon to companies like ExactTarget. The company has seen 58 percent compounded annual growth rate since 2003.

How do you get personalized email travel updates from Priceline ? They hire ExactTarget. How does Toyota get out customer service tweets? They hire ExactTarget.

Papa John's uses ExactTarget to enable franchisees to communicate at the local level. Newspaper giant Gannett uses it to power national communications for USA Today, but their local papers also use them to communicate as well.

Insiders own the stock at $4.11 ($4.11! That's not a typo!) — but all the stock is coming from the company, insiders are not selling.

That includes the two biggest shareholders. Technology Crossover owns 25.8 percent, Greenspring Associates own 17.8 percent; between the two, over 43 percent. They are not only not selling, they have expressed interest in buying more shares at the IPO price.

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  • A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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