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Infinera grabs top tech IPO of the year

Optical bull

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Shares of Infinera gained 52 per cent during its first trading day, giving the optical-networking gear maker the best tech IPO debut in 2007.

The Sunnyvale-based company's stock closed yesterday at $19.71, a 51.6 per cent leap from the $13 per share initial public offering price. Approximately 14 million shares were sold during the trading day.

Infinera Logo

Infinera was founded in 2000 by former Ciena Corp. executive Jagdeep Singh. It claims to be the first company to develop a commercially deployed computer chip with optical networking components. The optical gear transmits and receives data at 100 GB/s using light, rather than electricity used in traditional circuits.

Despite company sales surging nearly 17-fold in the first quarter to $49.2m, Infinera has yet to achieve profitability. The company posted a $89.9m loss last year and was $19.8m in the red during the first quarter of 2007.

A small number of companies account for most of Infinera's sales. Internet backbone firm Level 3 made up 57 per cent of Infinera's revenue during the first quarter and about 75 per cent in 2006.

Infinera's competitors in the optical communications market include Alcatel-Lucent, Ciena, Cisco, Huawei and Nortel.

According to Infinera's SEC filing, the company plans to use proceeds from the sale for repayment of credit facilities and possible acquisitions. ®

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