This IPO Wants to Meet You

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Cvent wasn't last week's hottest IPO.

Intrexon gets the honor, and rightfully so. Synthetic biology is a tantalizing arena, and Intrexon is making waves by applying engineering principles to biological systems. Intrexon isn't generating a lot of revenue, but buzz about its proprietary technology that goes into developing gene programs was enough to boost the size of its IPO from 8.3 million shares to 10 million. It priced at $16 -- the high end of its range -- and that wasn't enough. Intrexon popped at the open on Thursday, closing out the week 82% higher.

Nice genes.

Cvent was no slouch. The cloud-based event management software provider went public at $21 on Friday, and it soared 57% higher on its first day of trading.

Unlike Active Network , which primarily focuses on Web-based registrations for triathlons, marathons, and other endurance events, Cvent is keying in on hotel-hosted meetings and conferences. CSN -- Cvent's online marketplace -- allows tens of thousands of planners to find the ideal sites for their powwows through its proprietary database with more than 200,000 venues.

Cvent profits from both ends of the transactions, as event planners and venue operators pay to subscribe to be a part of the marketplace.

Revenue climbed 37% to $83.5 million last year, and unlike Active Network, Cvent turned a profit. It earned $4.3 million with adjusted EBITDA of $20.3 million, translating into margins of 5% and 24%, respectively.

Cvent couldn't have timed its market debut any better. Active Network has been a bit of a disaster since going public at $15 two years ago given its decelerating top-line growth and lack of consistent profitability, but sentiment has started to turn in a major way. The stock has more than doubled since bottoming out at $3.83 four months ago.

A big boost for Active Network came earlier in the week when it reported a larger-than-expected quarterly profit and revealed interest from potential acquirers.

As Active Network has tried to make a dent in corporate event registrations, it wouldn't be a surprise if both companies eventually hook up.

Active Network is growing substantially slower with net revenue climbing just 9% in its latest quarter, but Active is generating far more revenue despite the similar market caps.

Cvent has arrived, and the hotel conference center is buzzing.

Cvent's in the right place at the right time
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Active Network. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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