The initial public offering of Expedia, the online travel service owned by Microsoft, is expected to get off to a scorching start when the stock opens for trading today. Expedia priced 5.2 million shares at $14, above the expected price range of $10 to $12.
There is a lot of interest in this offering because it is Microsoft’s first Internet IPO. In addition, the offering’s underwriting team of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter is about as solid as it gets. However, online travel is an extremely competitive sector, and the merger of Travelocity.com and Preview Travel will create a clear number 1 in the field. While the Expedia IPO is expected to fly high on its first day of trading, there could be some turbulence ahead.