First I received an eMail, then a voicemail, then old-fashioned junk mail and finally another eMail. It was unbelievable. My phone company, Vonage, didn’t want me, a loyal customer, to miss out on their great IPO!!! For those of you not hip to the lingo of us movers and shakers on Wall Street, an “IPO” is an initial public offering of stock. That’s when big shots like me get to get into stock on the ground floor and ride it to riches! Yep, this was another opportunity just like that time I was invited to participate in the IPO of MP3.com. Yeah, back then of course, I was a big shot record executive and… well, that’s another story for another time…
As any investor should, I conducted a little “due diligence” on this “too good to be true” offer and quickly surmised it was going to be just that. The financial fundamentals just weren’t there and competition in their VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) market is heating up. Some observers suggested that Vonage was actually having difficulty attracting institutional investors and that the seemingly customer-friendly IPO offer was actually a desperate cash grab from its own customers.
I didn’t invest.
The stock opened Wednesday and the IPO price loyal Vonage customers had to pay was $17/share. It quickly fell and as of yesterday, it sat at $13… I love the service and pay a flat $27.78 a month, but I’m sure glad I didn’t buy their stock. Let’s say I purchased 500 shares. As of this morning I’d be down $2000, or about six years worth of Vonage bills… All because my phone company spammed me into a bad deal.