IPO Roundup: Simple Technology preps IPO

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Shares of memory and storage products maker Simple Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: STEC) priced at $11 per share, in the middle of their $10 to $12 a share estimated price range.

The company should do well, since its in a strong secotor -- data storage, said Kenan Pollack of IPO Central. "But flash memory is also a volatile market," he cautioned. The company also has established players such as AMD (NYSE: AMD), Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) and Samsung to contend with.

The company also turns a profit; for the 6 months ended June 30, Simple Technology had net income of $11.19 million on revenue of $132.65 million, as compared to an income of $1.72 million on revenue of $83.28 for the same period in 1999.

The company will use the proceeds from the IPO partly to repay amounts outstanding under a line of credit, for payment of undistributed earnings notes held by existing stockholders and for the distribution to stockholders of additional paid-in capital previously invested by them.

Lehman Bros. served as the lead underwriters; Banc of America and Fidelity Capital were co-managers.

Hydrogen generator Proton Energy Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: PRTN), priced at $17, above an already-boosted price range, after boosting the anticipated price range to $14-$16 a share from $10-$12.

The deal should be one of the hottest deals this week, as a back-door tech play which joins other power-related issues soaring in the IPO aftermarket, Pollack said. He compared the deal to Capstone Turbine (Nasdaq: CPST) and H-Power (Nasdaq: HPOW). "Before Palms, servers, and software... you need electricity... these kind of companies are the ultimate infrastructure play," he added.

The company focuses on generators which produce hydrogen from electricity and water, and is developing a fuel-cell device that will be able to produce and store the hydrogen fuel, which can eventually be used to generate electricity.

The company has slim revenues , and hefty losses. For the 6 months ended June30, Proton lost $1.95 million on revenue of $187 000, as compared to a loss of $1.40 million on revenue of $47 000 for the same 6 months in 1999.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Credit Suisse First Boston and Salomon Smith Barney are managing the Ipo.

  • A couple of technology issues related to the pharmacueticals industry also priced for debut; Ciphergen (Nasdaq: CIPH), which makes and sells protein chip analysis systems, disposable chips and software to pharmaceuticals and research organizations, priced 5.5 million shares at $16, the top end of its $14-$16 range.

    Genomica (Nasdaq: GNOM), which licenses a bioinformatics database template and analysis software for pharmaceuticals and research organizations, priced 6.44 million shares at $19. The company had originally planned to offer 5 million shares at a range of $16-$18.

  • At Road (Nasdaq: ARDI), a provider of Web-based tracking of fleets, employees and packages, also priced its IPO at $9, the bottom of its $9 to $11 range.
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