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Power Computing files for IPO

The largest Mac clone maker files for an initial public to raise as much as $30 million in capital and fuel its efforts on the Microsoft-Intel platform.

Power Computing, the largest Macintosh clone maker, today filed for an initial public offering in hopes of raising as much as $30 million in capital and fueling its push to build on the Microsoft-Intel platform.

Power Computing is proposing to float out 3 million shares with a pricing range of $8 to $10 a share. At $10, the computer maker would carry a market value of $177.2 million.

Power, a direct marketer, has been growing at a fast clip among the field of cloners, which include DayStar Digital, a high-end computer maker that emphasizes digital and video effects; Umax Computer, a low-price, high-volume outfit; and Motorola Computer Group, a division hoping to benefit from its brand name.

But the company is also "planning to broaden its product portfolio to include...desktop and portable computer systems [that use Intel processors and the Windows operating system], as well as Microsoft Windows NT based server products that will jointly support Macintosh and [Microsoft-Intel] connectivity," according to its Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Power Computing, however, notes it will also expand its position in the Macintosh-compatible market, promoting the growth of the Macintosh platform by offering new Macintosh-compatible desktop computer systems.

The company, which began operations in 1994 and shipped its first product in May 1995, turned profitable in 1996 and has generally posted improved numbers since that point.

Power Computing reported net profits of $4.9 million for 1996 on revenues of $131 million.

And during the first nine months of its fiscal year, the company reported net profits of $7.7 million on revenues of $247.2 million, compared with the same period a year ago when it posted profits of $2.5 million on revenues of $82.4 million.

Up until last quarter, Power Computing had posted five consecutive quarters of revenue growth and three consecutive quarters of profits.

But in the March 31 quarter, the company saw both revenues and profits falter. Revenues fell 14.5 percent from the previous quarter, to $84.3 million. And profits fell to $1 million for the three-month period, down from $3.9 million a year ago.

Power Computing has posted revenue growth and profits at a time when its licenser, Apple Computer (AAPL) has reported a declining financial performance.

Apple posted a second-quarter loss of $708 million, rivaling its historic loss of $740 million a year ago. And the computer maker's revenues declined to $1.6 billion in the second quarter, marking the second consecutive three-month period to show a drop.

Underwriters for the Power Computing IPO are Prudential Securities and Salomon Brothers.