Rambus Ink goes through the roof

News from the front line

Crash Register Rambus (RMBS) Even hard pressed Rambus executives must be wondering what is happening to its stock price. The last time we looked, while writing this piece, the share price stood at $281, notwithstanding the Phlegm of the Week we received this morning. A very large memory manufacturer, who declined to be named, asked us if we understood what is happening in the market. We re-iterated our view that this was a day trader phenomenon, and we heard from some rather more sympathetic souls this morning that what was happening was an awful lot of short buying in the morning, followed by a lull as other day traders tipped in, and a quick sell before the evening close of play. We all know the song See Saw Marjorie Daw well enough, but surely this has gone far enough, especially, as the memory exec pointed out to us on the blower, that Rambus will only sell around 10 millions of its famous RIMMs to the end of Q2. Can it all be due to the PlayStation? Non. As one colleague pointed out, the bigger the bubble gets, the bigger the pop will be when the share price is lanced. As we revisited this story at 1700H, the share price stood at $286 but had wavered at around $295. OK. Let's revisit this. What does Rambus have? It has intellectual property and has no fabs. It imposes a royalty on memory manufacturers who make its chips. Although in theory it is a future technology, even Intel (INTC) says that it will use double data rate (DDR) memory in its Foster (nee Willamette) technology, while someone of the stature of Peter Glaskowsky, at Microprocessor Report, told us at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) that there will be SDRAM solutions for Willlamette at launch time. Meanwhile, a white paper from Intel, as we reported accurately yesterday, suggested that DDR could give equal bandwidth to Rambus RIMMs... Lucent (LU) The firm with the famous Ring of Fire logo (ticker LU) is currently trading at $58.9375, but that share price is set to soar, according to our moles. It is investing a wedge of dosh in UK company Cambridge Silicon Radio (CSR) which is set to float...maybe in Autumn. Given the ambitious targets CRS has set itself, and notwithstanding the poor Q the Ring of Fire recently reported, this has got to be some kind of a bargain. Compaq (CPQ) The Big Q opened at $25.5 on Wall St this morning, obviously unmoved by stories of a new chief financial officer from Kodak as well as a massive deal with the French nuclear agency. But this has got to be one that's worth something for the long haul. Its share price has doldrummed since Eckhard Pfeiffer and the Pfeifferettes baled out of CPQ last year. More enterprises are on the way, we are given to understand. AMD (AMD) AMD edged up a couple of bucks from its yesterday closing price of $37.75, with markets apparently unmoved by the aggressive stance it is taking against the Great Satan of Chips (ticker INTC). However, we understand that estimates of AMD's sales as compared to INTCzilla's since the beginning of the year show that the little teeth are beginning to sink into the flanks of the big dinosaur...we'll be interested to see what happens at close of play, later today. As with all of our views of the market, the punters will probably go contrariwise... ®

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