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Network-1 takes on hot market

The security company's IPO is a success, but it'll be tough to beat hot new issues like

The suddenly reheated IPO market is luring even second-tier players in relatively obscure markets such as Internet security.

Firewall firm Network-1 Security Solutions went public today today after pricing 1.7 million shares at $6 each. The stock, which opened at $6.81, closed up 10.5 percent, at $7.25.

But Network-1 must go a long way to reach the soaring fortunes of, which went public today and was trading up nearly 700 percent in late trading. It even must go farther to match the performance of Trend Micro, the No. 3 player in the U.S. antivirus market, which went public in Japan in August and now trades at a $1 billion valuation.

Network-1 markets security products such as firewalls for internal and external networks, and its provides consulting services. IPO proceeds of about $8.1 million will be used for sales and marketing, software development, general working capital and repayment of debt. The underwriter is Whale Securities.

Trend Micro went public in mid-august in Japan, raising about $70 million in U.S. currency, and today has a market capitalization of around $1 billion, depending on the day's dollar-yen exchange rate.

Trend, which owns more than 60 percent of Japan's antivirus market according to chief operating officer Andrew Lai, says it's using the funds to open a data center in the Philippines to expand its eDoctor antivirus service. eDoctor updates Trend's antivirus software to ward off new computer viruses. Today services account for about 20 percent of Trend's revenues, but eDoctor is available only in Asia. A U.S. rollout is planned by March 1999.