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NetScreen's Screaming IPO

Lo and behold, a tech IPO! Is the coast clear?

Network security system developer NetScreen Technologies Inc. took what many might call a leap of faith into the uncertain realms of the public market today. The company raised $160 million and saw its shares jump nearly 50 percent after a successful initial public offering.

After being priced by lead underwriter Goldman Sachs & Co. at $16 per share, NetScreen went public and was immediately bid up to $23.76 on the Nasdaq, where it will trade under the ticker NSCN. NetScreen is selling all of the 10 million shares of common stock on offer. Shares closed the day at 23.72, up 7.72 (48.25%), giving it a market capitalization in the $1.7 billion range.

The news was reassuring to the technology startup sector, where some saw hope that the IPO market could be revived and that companies can once again begin to look to raise money in the public markets.

This is great news for the IPO market. A lot of people are excited about it,” says Infonetics Research Inc. analyst Jeff Wilson. “On the startup side, there have been a lot of open wounds over the last couple of months, but life must go on. A lot of companies have been waiting for someone to be courageous enough to make the first move.”

Wilson says he thinks NetScreen’s IPO will definitely influence other network security developers and maybe even rub off on other areas.

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