Continuing a phenomenal rise, shares of Telebanc Financial Corp. closed Thursday at $83.06, rising 21% since the previous Friday.
Analysts attributed the boost to a management road show intended to promote the thrift's alternative-delivery strategy as it prepares for a secondary stock offering.
"The road show is helping them out because they have a pretty good story to tell," said Charles Wittmann, an analyst at Wheat First Union.
Telebanc, with $2.3 billion of assets and $1.1 billion of deposits, conducts all interactions with customers via the Internet, telephone, and mail.
The Arlington, Va., company's stock has risen dramatically from the 52- week low of $8.125 on Oct. 8, 1998. On Feb. 11 it filed for the secondary offering for up to $250 million in shares.
Proceeds would be used to retire $32 million of debt and support a growing deposit base, which increased 110% in 1998, according to the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The thrift has 12.5 million shares outstanding. The offering would be managed by BancBoston Robertson Stephens, CIBC Oppenheimer, Goldman, Sachs & Co., and Legg Mason Wood Walker Inc.
The stock prices of other Internet-oriented companies also are rising. NetBank Inc. of Atlanta, for example, rose 15% last week, to $75.5 on Thursday.
Mr. Wittmann said fund managers were pouring money into stocks as the first quarter came to a close.
"A lot of them are under pressure to perform, and sitting on cash in this kind of a market is not the thing you want to be doing," he said.
Fundtech Ltd., a Ramat Gan, Israel-based payments software vendor, also filed an SEC statement for a secondary offering of stock.
Its shares rose last week 9.9%, to $32. At that price, the upcoming offering of 2.5 million shares would fetch more than $78 million.
The vendor of funds transfer software to small and midsize banks recently won important contracts with International Business Machines Corp. and Merrill Lynch & Co.
Fundtech's offering would be managed by BancBoston Robertson Stephens, Salomon Smith Barney, Hambrecht & Quist, CIBC Oppenheimer, and Lehman Brothers.
Verisign Inc. announced a 2-for-1 stock split, pending approval from stockholders. The price ended Friday at $149.75, up 13% last week.
The Mountain View, Calif., company, which offers certificate authority services to assure the identities of on-line trading partners, went public Jan. 30, 1998, at $14 a share. A $221 million secondary stock offering followed a year later.
Elsewhere, analyst Richard Weingarten, a Salomon Smith Barney managing director in the computer services equities sector, has left to pursue other interests, sources said. Patrick Burton, senior analyst at Lehman Brothers, joined Salomon Smith Barney to cover computer services stocks. u