E-Commerce Stock Watch: Autobytel Can’t Keep Pace With AutoWeb

As expected, shares of online automobile dealer Autobytel.com (Nasdaq: ABTL) had a sharp run-up on the stock’s first day of trading on Friday, despite the fact the initial public offering price had been raised twice during the week. Autobytel stock closed up 75 percent, gaining 17-1/4 to 40-1/4 on Friday.

The IPO was originally priced at $16-$18 (US$) before being raised, first to $20-$22 and then to the final price of $23. The stock opened at 52-3/4 on Friday and was as high as 58 before pulling back. But the rise in Autobytel’s stock wasn’t nearly as dramatic as the rise of competitor Autoweb.com (Nasdaq: AWEB) earlier in the week.

Autoweb went public on Tuesday, and its stock skyrocketed up 186 percent, gaining 26 to close at 40.

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