RealTime IT News

E-Mailbag Monday: Novatel, Mothernature.com, IEEE 1394

What looks good for the IPO market this week?

Reply: Even though Nasdaq plunged last week, there were still a few strong IPOs. One was Transmeta , which surged over 100% on its first day of trading.

As for this week, things do not look good. Although, Novatel Wireless may have a decent offering. The company is a developer of wireless data modems and software.

For the first nine months of 2000, revenues were $33.4 million, which was up from $5.5 million a year ago. But losses were $30.3 million. In fact, the company has a negative cash flow of $39 million.

Yet, the company has a strong customer base, including Palm, Verizon, OmniSky and GoAmerica. And, of course, these customers are growing at break-neck speed.

The lead underwriter is CS First Boston and the price range is $10-$12 (the company plans to issue 7 million shares). The proposed ticker symbol is NVTL.

Mothernature.com: Arbitrage Play?

Do you think there is any more upside on MotherNature.com?

Reply: As of the end of Friday last week, the stock price was about 78 cents per share. As you know, MotherNature.com decided it could no longer be a viable business; so, it decided to do the honorable thing and liquidate the company.

According to the company, shareholders will get $1 per share. So, isn't this an arbitrage opportunity? Well, not necessarily. The $1 per share will be from cash, as well as intellectual property and other tangible assets. But, in the tough dot-com environment, it may be difficult to get good prices on these assets. Also, the company plans to pay 85 cents to common shareholders by the end of this year and the remaining 15 cents over perhaps a three-year period.

IEEE 1394: The FireWire Standard

What is IEEE 1394?

Reply: This is a standard for high-speed connectivity among computers, peripheral devices and consumer devices (such as TVs, digital cameras and video players). The IEEE 1394 standard is also called FireWire or i.Link.

The IEEE 1394 standard has been in existence since 1987. Supporters include Compaq, Microsoft, Sony, Sun and Apple (in all, there are 140 members).

Basically, IEEE 1394 allows for connections - across copper wires - at speeds of up to 400 Mbps. The market for these devices is expected to grow from eight million in 1999 to 100 million by 2004.