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iPod chipmaker sings in Wall Street debut

Enthusiasm for PortalPlayer's stock is high despite company's warning that it has no long-term contract with Apple.

Ina Fried Former Staff writer, CNET News
During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley.
Ina Fried
Shares of iPod chipmaker PortalPlayer soared on Friday as the company made its Wall Street debut.

Shares more than doubled, changing hands in midday trading at $26.25, up $9.25 or 54 percent. On Thursday, shares were trading at $17 a share, above the company's initial prediction of between $14 and $16 a share (which was raised from earlier estimates of $11 to $13 a share, according to a regulatory filing).

Enthusiasm for PortalPlayer's stock comes despite the company's warning in regulatory filings that it has no long-term contract with Apple Computer. The company makes chips for other firms' personal media players, but more than 90 percent of PortalPlayer's sales come from the iPod.

PortalPlayer's sales have risen along with those of Apple, which shipped more than 2 million iPods last quarter. PortalPlayer has yet to translate the revenue jump into profits, though it has narrowed its losses.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company posted a loss of $131,000 for the nine months ended Sept. 30. That's considerably narrower than the $7.3 million loss the company posted for the same period in 2003. Revenue during the same period rose nearly threefold, to $47.8 million.