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Cray sets price for public offering

The supercomputer maker offers 7.3 million new shares of common stock in the face of growing competition, as companies find new ways to increase their computing power.

Supercomputer maker Cray on Thursday priced a new public offering of its common stock at $6.20 per share.

The company said it offered 7.3 million new shares of common stock and an additional 145,000 shares of common stock from certain selling shareholders. The offer increases Cray's outstanding shares by about 13 percent. The company said it planned to use proceeds from the sale for general corporate purposes.

Cray, which sells high-end computers to customers, including the U.S. government, said it expects the public offering to close Wednesday. The company also has granted underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to 1.1 million shares to cover any overallotments.

In January, the company announced a fourth-quarter profit and said that it shipped six of its top-end X1 supercomputers, which offer up to 52.4 teraflops, or a trillion mathematical calculations per second. The company also predicted that manufacturing expenses for the X1 line would decrease in the second half of 2003

Still, Cray faces more competition as companies find new ways to increase their computing power, often by stringing smaller computers together.

Cray's competitors include mainstream computer makers IBM, Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard, as well as high-end computer specialist SGI. In addition, companies such as Linux Networx are building supercomputers out of large numbers of small systems.