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Fairchild does fairly well in debut

Fairchild Semiconductor International, Inc. (Nasdaq: FCS) shares rose 5/8 to 19 1/8 in their Wednesday morning debut.

Twenty million shares of the largest independent multi-market semiconductor maker hit the market priced at $18.50, the middle of their original $17 to $20 range.

Credit Suisse First Boston is the lead underwriter for the initial public offering, Salomon Smith Barney, BancBoston Robertson Stephens and Deutsche Banc Alex Brown are named as co-managers.

Fairchild is a global company which makes multi-market components for computer, telecommunications, automotive, consumer and industrial applications. The company is based in South Portland, Maine, and manufacturing facilities are located in California, Utah, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Risks cited in the regulatory filings include the volatile nature of the semiconductor industry and the company's significant operations in South Korea, which make it subject to currency fluctuations. But the company has a diversifies customer base; no single customer, other than National Semiconductor (NYSE: NSM) and Samsung Electronics, provided more than 5 percent of 1998 revenue. Fairchild's other customers include Compaq, Dell, Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Lucent, Nokia, Nortel Networks, Siemens and Solectron.

Fairchild recorded a net loss of $30.1 million for the first nine months of 1999, compared to net income of $25.1 million in the corresponding period last year.

The company of 8090 employees was founded in 1959, and compares to Micron Technology Inc. (NYSE: MU) and Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN).