• 09/28/2001
    6:30 PM
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Overland Data

Overland is aiming to add software to smarten up tape libraries

Richard Kugele, an analyst with Needham & Co., reiterated his "Buy" rating on Overland in a report issued in early August, giving the company credit for posting solid results in "a challenging environment."

Overland's stock, however, continues to hover in the $5 to $7 per share range, where it has been most of the summer since dropping from a 52-week high of $13.75 in February. The stock bumped up a bit in the middle of the past week, following a favorable report from Wells Fargo Van Kasper senior analyst Brion Tanous. Still, its stock price is not much higher than the company's book value, which is just less than $5 per share.

Though sales of Overland's new Neo series of automated, scalable tape libraries are going well, Calisi says the company is looking for ways to add more intelligence to its devices, to make the management of data a simpler process.

"We're actively working on issues on the software side of our business," he says. "If you look at a NAS device, that's something with a scaled-down operating system and a single-purpose application. That's the type of intelligence you will see us bundle into our products."

How that task will be be accomplished is a process Calisi isn't yet ready to divulge. Calisi does say, though, that as a way to obtain necessary software smarts, Overland is evaluating acquisition of talent as well as internal projects. And although its stock price doesn't offer much in the way of bartering strength, the company is financially solid, with just more than $10 million in cash on hand.

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