E-Mailbag Monday: Alliance Fiber Optics Products, CommerceOne, USB

What looks good for the IPO market this week?

Reply: Do not expect much from the IPO market, as investors gear-up
for Thanksgiving. There are a mere five deals on tap, with two from
overseas.

Although, there is a fiber deal in the winds and it is
Alliance Fiber Optics
Products
. The product line is extensive: splitters, couplers, interconnectors,
WDM and DWDM.

In all, the company has 150 customers, including JDS Uniphase and Marconi.
For the first nine months of 2000, revenues surged 164.9% to $13.4 million
and losses were $200,000.

But there are some problems: three of its top ten customers are competitors
and the company’s manufacturing capacity is not strong.

The lead underwriter is Merrill Lynch and the price range is $11-$13 (the
company plans to issue 4.5 million shares). The proposed ticker symbol is
AFOP.

CommerceOne: Are the Rumors Real?

Rumors are that CommerceOne will miss its fourth quarter. What’s your take?

Reply: It’s a good idea to not pay attention to rumors – especially
now. Investors are jittery – and short sellers are a bit cocky (after all,
they have made huge sums of money during the past few months).

But CommerceOne
is a leading B2B company and by all accounts, the B2B sector is still
growing at a brisk rate. In fact, the company issued a statement saying
that it does not expect a fall-off. The company is comfortable with
projections of $173 million to $177 million in revenues and a loss of 7
cents per share.

Universal Serial Bus

What is USB?

Reply: Universal Serial Bus (USB) is a standard that allows for
low-to-medium speed connectivity between computers and peripheral devices
(such as printers, scanners and keyboards). The standard was developed in
1999. Essentially, it is a replacement for the traditional serial and
parallel ports.

Supporters of the standard include Microsoft, Lucent, Intel and NEC. In
all, there are more than 600 members. A study from Dataquest shows that USB
is expected to grow from 27 million devices in 1999 to 494 million by 2003.

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