Opnext on its way with successful IPO

FEBRUARY 15, 2007 By Stephen Hardy -- You know all that messy bubble stuff? Well, apparently all is forgiven, as Opnext has made it two-for-two when it comes to successful IPOs for optical component/subsystem companies.

FEBRUARY 15, 2007 By Stephen Hardy -- You know all that messy bubble stuff? Well, apparently all is forgiven, as Opnext (search for Opnext) has made it two-for-two when it comes to successful IPOs for optical component/subsystem companies.

The Hitachi spin-off raised $254 million yesterday for its IPO, which was priced at the top end of its forecasted $13-$15 price per share. That gave Opnext an initial market capitalization of approximately $930 million, according to Reuters.

The company sold 16,909,375 shares. Opnext sold 10,000,000 shares and selling stockholders offered 6,909,375 shares. The offering was made through an underwriting syndicate led by Goldman, Sachs & Co., who acted as the sole "bookrunner." J.P. Morgan Securities Inc., CIBC World Markets Corp., Cowen and Company, LLC, and Jefferies & Company, Inc. acted as co-managers. The company granted the underwriters the right to purchase up to an additional 2,536,406 shares at the initial public offering price.

The good news continued this morning when the stock opened trading on NASDAQ (with the ticker symbol OPXT) at $17. It posted gains as high as 18.6% during early trading. It subsequently settled down at about a 15% gain; as of 2:45 PM, it was trading at $17.29, up 2.29.

By comparison, Optium climbed as much as 24% during its first day. However, the gain no doubt pleased executives at Opnext and Hitachi, the latter of which put up most of the shares on offer. Hitachi is expected to retain a 46.6% stake in the company.

Opnext listed net income of $3.23 million in the last three months of 2006 (versus a net loss of $4.09 million a year earlier) in filing for its IPO. The company said it will use the windfall for capital expenditures, R&D, sales and marketing, and debt repayment.

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