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ONI triples following successful IPO

Despite tepid investor interest in many initial public offerings this spring, stock in the networking firm more than triples after it raises $200 million in its IPO.

Despite tepid investor interest in many initial public offerings this spring, stock in networking firm ONI Systems more than tripled today following its initial public offering.

ONI Systems, which sold 8 million shares at $25 each, peaked at $85.75 before dipping slightly to close at $84.63.

The optical network equipment maker had earlier raised its pricing range from $14 to $16 a share to between $21 to $23 a share. The firm raised $200 million in the IPO.

ONI Systems of San Jose, Calif., is a start-up that competes against Cisco Systems, Nortel Networks and other networking firms, whose equipment allows service providers to build high-speed optical networks that can handle the current explosion of Internet traffic in metropolitan areas. Fiber-optic networks transmit signals as pulses of light rather than electronic signals, allowing them to handle a greater volume of traffic at higher speeds.

Despite the recent dismal showing of IPOs, networking firms have fared well on Wall Street.

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maker New Focus doubled in its market debut two weeks ago. Sonus Networks, a maker of networking devices that tie old phone networks to the Net, also saw shares double in its IPO last week.

Before that, network equipment maker ArrowPoint Communications in late March saw its shares shoot up from $34 to $118 in its first day of trading. ArrowPoint has since been acquired by Cisco.