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Imperial: Royally Screwed?

After yo-yoing between firing half of its employees in July 2002 and then hiring them all back five months later, solid-state disk player Imperial Technology Inc. has abruptly reached the end of its string, as the company appears to have gone out of business.

While we were unable to get hold of anyone at Imperial Technology to verify that the company in fact is no more, signs point in that direction. The companys Website is up and running, but its phone system is not working and CEO Robert David appears to have disconnected his cell phone. We have received no response to numerous emails sent to several company employees, including VP of marketing Craig Harries.

And we’re not the only ones who haven’t managed to get through to the 25-year-old company. Imperial Technology’s PR firm, JPR Communications, hasn’t worked with the company for the past eight months and hasn’t heard from them in weeks, according to a source close to the firm, who has asked to remain anonymous.

Analysts, too, say they’ve been trying to get in touch with the company, but in vain. "We haven’t had a call back in nine days or so," Enterprise Storage Group Inc. analyst Steve Duplessie writes in an email. "I think they have bit the proverbial Big One."

Evaluator Group analyst Randy Kerns, who has also been unsuccessful at reaching the company, says the issue is still profitability. "They had to sell enough product to make profits to sustain the company," he says. "That is a niche product, and they probably didn't get the volume with enough margin to continue."

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