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INRANGE: A Switch in Time

As companies bulge with data, high-end storage providers have benefited tremendously, such as Brocade and EMC . The industry is known as Fibre Channel, which is a standard for large-scale storage.

Another beneficiary is INRANGE Technologies. Actually, the company develops networking and switching solutions for Fibre Channel companies.

This week, INRANGE plans to go public. The lead underwriter is Salomon Smith Barney and the price range was increased from $12-$14 to $14-$16 (the company intends to issue 7.7 million shares). The proposed ticker symbol is INRG.

INRANGE has a family of products called IN-VSN. Basically, it allows for the efficient transport of data between storage devices, computers and networks. What's more, IN-VSN focuses on datacenters, which require high levels of reliability.

Another product is the Universal Touchpoint. This provides for switching and control systems for high-end data networks. For example, INRANGE has a 24,000-port Mega-Matrix switch (it's the largest in the industry).

Then there is the 7-View product family. It monitors telecom networks (emphasizing voice communications). Applications? Well it can do such things as call tracing, fraud detection, and call routing.

In all, INRANGE has been able to install products at over 2,000 sites in 90 countries. Customers include EDS, HP, IBM, and Cisco.

Interestingly enough, INRANGE has been in existence since the late 1960s. Since then, the company has morphed several times. In fact, INRANGE is currently in the process of another transition (for example, there have been four recent acquisitions). This explains the lackluster revenue growth. Between 1998 to 1999, revenues declined 11.1% to $200.6 million. Profits were $5.8 million. Basically, the data and voice segments have been slow, while the storage segment has been growing at breakneck speed.

But with new product introductions and a focus on high-growth markets, INRANGE will begin to show traction soon. Expect the IPO to have a strong performance this week.

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