Feeds

IPO makes VA Linux instant $10bn company

But one can't help starting to wonder why...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

Yesterday's VA IPO turned into the biggest Linux hit yet, with the company's stock at one point zooming 800 per cent over the debut price of $30 a share. And that $30 had been a revision of a revision - VA Linux Systems' offer price had already been yanked up a couple of times in anticipation of greater demand than, er, anticipated. The stock fell back slightly (relatively speaking, anyway) later, but still left lucky company operatives dripping with virtual lucre. VA closed with a market cap nudging $10 billion, CEO Larry Augustin's stake and options make him worth $1.7 billion, and company director, general-purpose guru and "corporate conscience" Eric Raymond tells us in Linux Today this morning that he's now worth around $36 million. Eric* says it won't change his life, and anyway, he's the least rich of the director shareholders. VC backers Sequoia are the most rich, and Intel is sitting fairly pretty on a reasonable-sized VA share pile too. But when Linux IPOs are getting to this kind of level we're clearly approaching the point where worries about the bubble bursting are going to start to emerge, in the same way as they did with Internet stocks. Sure, Internet IPOs still tend to do well, but there's a general consensus that a some point there's going to be a reckoning, and the bigger Linux IPOs get, the sooner scepticism will start to set in. A quick reality check of VA, for example, gives us net revenues to 29th October of just under $15 million, and an operating loss of over $10 million. Eric Raymond alone is "worth" more than the company's total net assets, according to the balance sheet. So how exactly (or indeed, even approximately) will a company of this size justify a valuation in the region of $10 billion? How indeed... * Eric, bless him, says he might get a new mobile phone, a flute, cable Internet access and "maybe a nice hotrodded match-grade .45 semi for tactical shooting." Ah, the youth of today... Once upon a time the nouveau riche destroyed themselves in orgies of drugs, smashed hotel rooms and Rolls Royces in swimming pools. ®

Website security in corporate America

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.