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Netpliance tries new tack to save business

The one-time maker of Internet appliances plans to undergo a 1-for-15 reverse stock split and to change its name to TippingPoint Technologies.

Netpliance, the one-time maker of Internet appliances, said Friday that it plans to undergo a 1-for-15 reverse stock split and to change its name to TippingPoint Technologies.

The Austin, Texas-based company, best known for making the I-opener Web-browsing device, also announced a number of personnel moves and financial results that included a loss from current operations of $3.7 million, or 6 cents per share. The net loss from the discontinued Internet appliance and service business totaled about $2.1 million, or 3 cents per share

In November, Netpliance said it was getting out of the Internet appliance business, instead focusing on helping other companies manage networks of Net appliances and other devices.

The company has said it does not expect the revamped business to generate revenue until at least the first quarter of next year.

On the personnel front, Chief Financial Officer Kit Webster will add the titles of president and chief operating officer.

"Things are going well," Webster said. "We are where we thought we were going to be. But where we thought we were going to be doesn't include customers at this point."

Kent Savage, Netpliance's former president, will rejoin the company as chief sales and marketing officer. Netpliance announced in February that Savage was leaving the company, effective the following month.

The company also said that Savage, who had remained on the board of directors, and Webster will step down from the board to reduce the number of company management positions on it.

Kip McClanahan, CEO of Austin-based BroadJump, will join Netpliance's board. According to Netpliance, BroadJump creates software that allows broadband service providers to simplify the installation and management of their services.

The company said it has $53 million in cash and investments, which it believes can fund the company for at least the next 12 months even with no revenue or additional funding.

In December, an investor group led by Netpliance CEO John McHale made a bid to take the company private, offering 65 cents a share. The offer, which was above where the stock was trading but a fraction of its 52-week high, drew outrage and lawsuits from investors. The offer was withdrawn in January

Netpliance said the reverse stock split should allow it to meet the requirements for continued listing on the Nasdaq. The company has been trading below $1 since late last year. The split has received shareholder and board approval, Netpliance said. The company will change its ticker symbol, effective Aug. 20, from "NPLI" to "TPTI."