Kayak Hoping to Ride the IPO Wave

Which will be the next tech company to go public after Facebook?

That’s an easy one: Kayak.com.

The travel search company, which has been putting off its plans to go public for more than a year and a half, is now getting ready to pull the trigger, according to sources.

The Norwalk, Conn.-based company is by default one of the prime candidates to go public because it has already filed its paperwork and has been dutifully updating its financial statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission every quarter.

A Kayak spokesperson declined to comment, but the timing is good for a number of reasons.

Not only has Facebook priced at the high end of its range, which makes investors a bit more hungry for tech stocks, but other travel companies have been warmly received by the markets over the past few months.

In December, TripAdvisor spun off from Expedia to become an independently held public company. Since then, the company’s stock has soared, trading at $41 a share, up from $27 a share. Expedia is also trading higher, up 50 percent to $41.10 a share.

Kayak could begin its roadshow as soon as Monday and may be seeking as much as $150 million at a $1 billion valuation, according to CNBC. In its original documents, it said it would raise a minimum of $50 million, which served more as a placeholder than what it was intending on raising.

As recently as last week, it updated its filing to report its first quarter earnings, announcing that it earned $4.1 million on $73.3 million. In the year-ago period, it recorded a lost of $6.9 million on revenues of $52.7 million.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work